Cover of the rare VCD of Lantern
Still some of her works during this period show her latent talent only waiting to be well used and not as a simple fixture. One of these works was Lantern; a production aimed at showing the bad influence of triads society on the youngsters of the Pearl of Asia. In this Lau Kar Yung's movie, Athena was the supporting part, Ng Man Tat's daughter, and a serious student ashamed by the criminal past of her father. In this dramatic situation, Athena Chu didn't rely at all on her appearance and expressed the sadness of her character with real feelings. Too bad the script didn't give her enough room to express this ability. Despite its good intentions, Lantern wouldn't manage to attract audience in theatre and was withdrawn only after a week of exploitation. Not enough for the actress to get full attention either from the public or the industry.
A dream cast for one of the first UFO production
A similar result is achieved with Tom, Dick and Hairy but in a very different context. One of the first UFO productions, Tom, Dick and Hairy gather a 4-star cast for a romantic comedy full of charm and quite emblematic of a certain local mentality. Even if it's a supporting part for Athena (as Tony Leung Chiu Wai's little sister), it's a good occasion for her to share scenes with experienced actors like the two Tonys or with her “opponent” Anita Yuen. Her part of a young and modern girl was tailor made for Chu, still she proved to be a convincing romantic actress, especially in her long talking scenes with Tony Leung Kar Fai and Anita Yuen. Unfortunately for her, at this stage of her career, it's impossible to outshine her famous partners and she kind of got lost in this numerous and talented casting.
Athena in a performance mixing charm and comedy
If Lantern and Tom, Dick and Hairy foresaw what would be the distant future of Athena, it was another movie made in 1992 that announced the second part of her movie career mostly based on comedy. Its title: Super Lady Cop. In this small Wellson Chin's film, Athena shared the lead with Cynthia Khan and Alex Man. The story was quite ludicrous, using the classical tale of mainlanders coming to HK with a surprising twist: The mainlanders are Cyborgs! No need to say realism was not the main concern of Welson Chin who preferred to propose pure entertainment in a non-stop over-the-top action and silly comedy. Acting as a teenager trying to get the attention of Alex Man, Athena gave full reign to her comedic abilities. It's hard to restrain a laugh when watching her making crazy faces or moving around wearing cloths suitable for a teenage girl !