In a 2010 survey, the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival asked 122 film professionals to vote for the 100 greatest…
Triad boss Lung (Eddy Ko), who has just escaped being killed in an assassination attempt hires the killers Curtis (Anthony Wong), James (Lam Suet), Mike (Roy Cheung), Roy (Francis Ng) and Shin (Jackie Lui) for his protection.
Mildly entertaining gun play action brought to you by director Johhnie To! Unfortunately I couldn't get too excited about this one! I'm trying to view all of Johnnie To's films looking for the next gem and sadly this one missed the boat by a mile! It's still worth a watch but I would like to point you in the direction of his other films Exiled and Vengeance for an even MORE enjoyable movie watching experience!
Reportedly shot in 12 days with no script, The Mission feels like someone superimposed the loose hangout vibe of Cassavetes' Husbands onto the familial Triad melodrama of Woo's A Better Tomorrow. Which is not to say this exactly resembles either one. Take the mall shootout scene, for instance. It's the antithesis of a Woo shootout. All of the characters remain stationary and the excitement and tension are derived through editing and camera placement (the only camera movements coming as slow push-ins on the actor's faces). This sequence should be studied in film schools for any budding action directors to learn how geography, angle, rhythm, and even character can be utilized to make an exciting, non-traditional action set-piece.
Is there any…
Seriously though this is a great film. It has all of To's favorite themes he likes to put in his Triad films and is packed in under 90 minutes. One of the reasons he can pull this off is because there is a lot said in this film using no dialogue.
What might need a 5 minute exposition in one film is conveyed in one ice cold glare from Francis Ng. In fact there's a subplot in the film that is conveyed without a single line of dialogue. There's a great deal you can take away from what's going on in the…
The Mission was completed over only 12 days but I've yet to see a better shot and edited film from Johnnie To. His geometrically precise compositions within the 'Scope frame are quite striking. And what action! Yet the film is equally about stillness. Most of the To regulars such as Anthony Wong, Francis Ng, Jackie Lui, Roy Cheung, Lam Suet and Simon Yam are in the film. The film is about Triad boss who barely escapes an assassination and hires a group of bodyguards to thwart any further attempts. His oft-seen philosophical concept of yi, or the code of brotherhood, has rarely been better employed.
Simply yet amazing.
Along with EXILED, a terrific entry point into To's world, which makes sense as both are so similar. Both are films of Triads who become friends through their bonds of honor and then have those bonds tested by that same honor. Both communicate these ideas of personal and professional loyalty (and their occasional matter/anti-matter negation) through exchanges of body language and minimal spoken language, the methodical movement of each shootout a display of professionalism borne through their closeness. Here, it takes the form of action scenes that patiently move toward their targets with perfectly orchestrated relay movements of advancement and support as each member progresses to a point to provide cover for the others. Such movement silently establishes the way…
An 84 min action hang out flick that does more with its striped down plot than most movies with 2 hour + running times. Something i could easily watch every couple of months. Also should be required viewing for anyone trying to learn how to shoot an action sequence.
Johnnie To is the best.
Classic caper buddy movie.
Teamwork is a beautiful thing to witness. See it in the way this team of five moves around seamlessly, never looking behind them, because they trust the rest of the guys to watch their back. Look for it in the different ways they walk - some in a stylish swagger, others in a smooth glide, and then you have the occasional lazy lumber - but when they walk together, they do it as one.
Like Kitano's Brother, in that bonds are forged among hardass gangsters from different walks of life. Like Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, in that it completely disregards the need for backstory. Like Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, in that the lead characters don't feel the need to talk to each…
Mob assassinations presented as a cooler-than-cool boy band. It works as an anti-john woo flick in that it doesn't concern itself in the bodycount but in potential energy. Minimalistic and oh-so stylish!
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Provavelmente o filme de To que mais celebra a masculinidade, uma lealdade que inclusive assume a sua exclusividade de gênero. A única mulher no filme (que praticamente não tem nenhuma fala) é a responsável pelo único desentendimento entre os homens e acaba devidamente assassinada? Enquanto todos saem lindos e ilesos. Acho que seria mais doentio se não fosse tão assumido e quase cômico. Mas fora esse boy power descontrolado, filme tem uma noção de iminência espacial invejável mesmo.
It may have a plot that could probably fit on a (small) napkin but The Mission is all about To, Siu-keung Cheng and Chi Wai Chan using spatial relationships in such precise, imaginative and often absolutely fascinating ways.
A master-class in filming shoot-outs without moving the camera. In particular, the mall scene, which really is something special.
2/10: Johnny To's tale of 5 bodyguards come short due to poor storyline, with no proper flow, and very amateurish action scenes.
One of the best Triad films.
Johnnie To. Hasn't got his due in the west. Cool dude. Good flick. Quiet. Parataxic. Minimalist. Austerity of Hill's "The Driver" of "Hard Times" directed toward HK powder-burned bro-code topos. Good flick. I liked it.
- A City of Sadness
- A Brighter Summer Day
- A Time to Live, a Time to Die
- Days of Being Wild
- Spring in a Small Town
- Chungking Express
- Days of Heaven
- The Red Shoes
- Duck Soup
- An Autumn Afternoon
- À propos de Nice
- ...A Valparaíso
- The Abyss
- The Act of Killing
Not on letterboxd:
Eniaios (Gregory J. Markopoulos, 1990)
Living on the Edge (Michael Grigsby, 1987)
Reisender Krieger (Christian Schocher, 1981)…