The formidable duo of Cynthia Rothrock and Richard Norton rarely fail to
please. In CHINA O’BRIEN, Rothrock stars as a big-city cop who quits
the force after a shooting goes awry. She decides to go back home to the
country, where her father is the sheriff, only to find her hometown
overrun by corrupt jerks. When her father and his deputy (in awesome
back-to-back scenes) get killed by car bombs, all hell breaks loose–and
she gets elected sheriff! All right!
Usually in movies like this, Rothrock fights the boss at the end, which means they are also karate experts, or at least have plenty of Uzis. Not the case here–the bad guys are old men who sit in dark rooms plotting. To fight them, she runs for sheriff and is elected, and then deputizes her old flame Richard Norton, some high school kids, and a mysterious karate-kicking Native American with one hand (we think) named Dakota. Throughout the movie, Dakota saves her ass over and over and disappears on his dirt bike. No one is impressed though–and he’s not really acknowledged by Rothrock or Norton until about three-fourths through the movie, and only then with a “Who the hell does he think he is–let’s show him!” kind of attitude.
This movie is non-stop entertainment. Even when nothing’s happening, it’s strange enough to keep us interested. Directed by Robert Clouse