Plot: What’s it about?
After stealing thirty-million dollars in diamonds from the mafia, master thief Sam “King” Kong (Sam Hui) even manages to frame the crime on another thief. As he thinks he is in the clear, Sam relaxes a little, though an unexpected twist turns his life upside-down. His partner comes up murdered and the diamonds come up missing, which means he has to act fast to track down his loot, as well as remain alive. A bumbling American detective named Albert (Karl Maka) is brought in to bring down the case, but when the true criminal is revealed, they decide to make Sam a deal, in order to get his help in capturing a criminal known as White Gloves, the person Sam was able to pin the heist on in the first place. Now Sam must assist Albert and the beautiful, but tough policewoman Nancy (Sylvia Chang) to bring White Gloves to justice. It will involved a series of adventures like none of them has seen, but they’re all determined to see justice served…
This is the one that started it all, the original Mad Mission that sparked four sequels, three of which are found within this collection. As you would guess from the film’s title, this is a mad movie, one loaded with chases, escapes, gadgets, weapons, and characters of all kinds, the wilder the better in this picture. You’ll find elements of the Bond movies, the Pink Panther series, and assorted other cinematic inspirations here, all of which are used well and enhance the material, but are never overused. In other words, you can see the inspiration and homages, but the movie has ample original content, though it does rely a lot on Get Charlie Tully. The trademark blend of action and humor is present in high doses, always in balance and always effective, with minimal slow points to bottom out the fun. As with the other volumes in this Mad Mission series, this one is fun above all else, leaving me to give it a very high recommendation.
As part of an undercover plot to bust up a diamond deal, master thief Sam “King” Kong (Sam Hui), American detective Albert (Karl Maka), and Superintendent Nancy (Sylvia Chang) have to join forces for a common goal. But whenever these folks bump into each other, it seems like everything goes off the track and this time proves to be no exception. What was to be a routine mission winds up being an outrageous series of encounters, as the trio tries to complete the tasks and finish the mission. Before they can even do that however, they have to battle it out with high-tech fighting robots, cross paths with a hired assassin named Filthy Harry, and somehow keep away from a maniacal escaped mental patient (Tsui Hark). But that’s not all the obstacles in their paths however, as they also have to deal with high impact explosives, which have been attached to their person and could blow at any second…
This is one wild and fun sequel, as the Mad Mission series begins to branch out and prove it stands as a viable franchise. This movie has a great mixture of well crafted action sequences and slapstick humor, including some classic scenes that you’ll be telling your friends about, no doubt about it. I love the transformer robots and the battles with them, but perhaps the funniest part is Filthy Harry, who is simply hilarious, to say the least. The trio of central characters return and are played by the same actors, which is good news, since they all worked so well in the original Mad Mission. The action scenes are fun and well staged, with ample insane stunts and weird moments, which of course, are frequent in the Mad Mission series. The performances are as good as in the original, but Tsui Hark (director of Mad Mission Part 3) has a crazy turn as a mental patient that has to be seen to be believed. I had a blast watching this movie again and of course, give it and this entire collection a more than solid recommendation.
Sam “King” Kong (Sam Hui) has been asked to steal some valuable jewels, by no one less than James Bond and the Queen of England. As always, he brings in his partners in crime Albert (Karl Maka) and Nancy (Sylvia Chang) to assist him in the mission, but as usual, things go haywire and they learn it was all an elaborate hoax. The hiring people turn out to be simple look-alikes and the fire hits the fan, especially when the real man from Bond Street (Peter Graves) shows up and starts his own mission. As Sam makes his way across the globe, he encounters a wealth of foes that will stop at nothing to end his mission, though for some odd reason, it seems as though these villains resemble famous folks. With a band of ruthless assassins on his trail and an impossible mission ahead of him, can Sam somehow come on top?
I have to admit, this third installment in the Mad Mission series has some memorable moments, but it still stands as a weaker effort. I think fans of the series will enjoy themselves with this sequel, but I also think it was made in too much of a rush, as the writing seems a little slapdash and its simply too stupid at times. Yes, the Mad Mission movies are known for slapstick antics and outlandish humor, but this time around, its an overdose on both fronts. A lot of the humor does work and warrants a chuckle, but some of it falls flat and for this series, there’s too many bad jokes and lame premises, which is a real shame. The references to the Bond movies often work well, but it makes it seem like too much of a spoof, as opposed to the nice blends the previous installments offered, with some satire and some original content. In addition, the wild action sequences have been downplayed in favor of more humor, which won’t sit well with veterans of the series. I do think Mad Mission Part 3 is still worth a look however, especially as part of this collection.
The master thief “King” Kong (Sam Hui) has once again gotten his hands on a valuable item, but this time, it is perhaps more important than any before. The item is actually an experimental prism, one that contains the power to advance military & personal forces beyond normal means, which is why so many people want to obtain it. The prism can be used to create indestructible super soldiers, ones that could run roughshod over all opponents, leaving its owner as the most powerful leader in the world, if used in the right methods. But this prism is not to be used for evil purposes, so it has to be kept out of the wrong hands, or else the world’s population will be in immense danger. Soon enough, Kong finds his friends Albert (Karl Maka), Nancy (Sally Yeh), and their young son have all been kidnapped by some crooks looking to take control of the prism. It won’t be easy, but he plans to maintain possession of the prism, overcome the countless assassins on his trail, and rescue his friends, who are being held in an armed fortress.
This fourth Mad Mission is exclusive to this four disc collection, so if you want it, you’ll need to cough up the big bucks. But if you’re a fan of the series, you won’t want to miss out on this installment, as it stands as a fun, worthwhile sequel. The tone of the series remains intact, with plenty of action, slapstick humor, and parodies of other films, including a very memorable one involving a star of Raiders of the Lost Ark. While not as consistently good as the first two volumes, this fourth picture does improve on the third installment and has a lot to offer, though fans of the series will be most interested, of course. The overall level of humor seems to be lower than in previous entries, with a more juvenile texture, but rest assured, if you loved the other volumes, you should feel right at home with this one.
Video: How does it look?
The Mad Mission films are all presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, which should delight fans, of course. As expected, the visuals seem to get a little better with each sequel, since the later movies have less wear, as well as more resources at the time of production. The prints all look excellent, with minimal grain and even less debris, I never thought these movies could look so clean and sharp, simply amazing work here. The images can be a little soft when compared to more recent blockbusters, but given the material involved, I was stunned by how impressive these visual presentations are. The colors look solid in the earlier two films, then start to brighten up a little more, so by the fourth installments, hues are more vibrant, though flesh tones are natural as can be in all four pictures. No issues in terms of contrast either, as detail is smooth and black levels never fall below acceptable standards. As per usual, Anchor Bay is able to round up some great source materials, giving us the best home video editions to date.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is where I am a little let down, as all four films have been given mono soundtracks, but only an English option is provided. As the dialogue was a mixture of English and Cantonese in most of the films, I can understand why the all Cantonese tracks found on some releases weren’t used, but at least another option would have been nice. But on technical merits, the tracks more than hold up as far as mono goes, so no worries on that end. So while the tracks sound solid, I do wish a Cantonese option would have been included, if just to have both of them on deck, as most fans will want to own that version, but will want the enhanced video found here.
Supplements: What are the extras?
You can view the theatrical trailers for all four of the films found here, but no additional supplements have been included.