Friday, 19 June 2015
Fantasy Mission Force [Mi ni te gong dui] (1983, Yen-Ping Chu)
Firstly, i would like to take issue with the poster pictured above, and its stipulation that this celluloid opus is 'for mature audiences'. This is one of the most gloriously immature films i have ever had happen in front of me.
Obviously these important men are worth saving, and so the notion is hit upon to assemble a crack commando squadron (though this B-Team are certainly all guilty of the crimes they have committed) to rescue the hostages before they are transferred from Luxembourg to Tokyo. I assume there's a road that just leads between the two places directly. The scene of the colonel going through slides of Roger Moore's James Bond ('on assignment'), Escape from New York's Snake Plissken (dead, apparently, which is a clever trick when your own film's set in 1997 and you've died before WWII. Wibbly wobbly...) and Rocky Balboa ('this is a military mission, he's not suitable!). It's like a weird League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets The Expendables. In an alternate universe, this film definitely happened.
Anyhow, finally a demented Dirty Dozen are assembled, comprising Captain Don Wen (Jimmy Wang Yu of One Armed Swordsman fame), comedic top-hatted Old Sun (Yueh Sun), escapology expert Grease [sic] Lightning (Frankie Gao), and womanising playboy and con man Billy (David Tao). Also along for the ride is Billy's spurned and vengeful girlfriend Lily (Brigitte Lin, later to costar with Jackie Chan in Police Story, as well as playing Asia the Invincible in The Legend of the Swordsman and starring in Wong Kar Wai's masterful Ashes of Time). Lily is introduced to us in a scene lifted from Marion's introduction in Raiders of the Lost Ark, engaged in a drinking game in a seedy tavern that soon descends into kung fu fighting chaos. Lily is my new favourite film character: a kick-ass no nonsense leather-clad sexy chick who kicks asses, wields big guns and takes names.
Oh, and tagging along with our motley crew are sneak thieves Sammy (Jackie Chan) and Emily (Ling Chang), who are scheming to get back the money confiscated from them by Billy when he was posing as a deerstalker-wearing policeman. Look, just trust me on this, there's a sort of plot. Anyway, all sorts of hi-octane high-kicking hi-jinks ensue, including an encounter with a tribe of cannibalistic warrior women (whereabouts on the road from Luxembourg to Tokyo this occurs is sadly unclear), and a wonderful sequence in a haunted house filled with ghosts and the traditional Chinese hopping vampires.