If you're feeling overwhelmed, but still want to squeeze a film into your daily routine, this list is made for…
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.
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…
The poetry of The Mission is packing a frame full of bodies with all of them being visible, doing something different than the person they're standing next to, and then having that composition challenged by an outside force wanting to destroy the men in frame. That To can create all of this without even moving his camera much at all is god-like moviemaking.
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…
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.
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.
The Mission features one of the coolest looking shootouts ever, the camera moving around stationary body guards, standing like mannequins in a mall, looking for out-of-frame attackers. This scene uses mis en scene to really increase tension as opposed to the editing methods you expect from most action films. Johnnie to for the win.
This HK triad action drama certainly packs a punch when it intends to, but is simultaneously uninteresting for large chunks of its mere 84 minute runtime.
First entry into To. That shopping mall shootout sequence is pure fucking poetry
Nearly perfect. I could watch this five times in a row.
Having seen a good portion of To's crime movies and about four of his rom-coms I feel comfortable at this point saying this is one of To's best movies (if you don't believe me check Sean Gilman's To list* to see how he ranks The Mission). It's a heroic bloodshed story about five professional killers hired to guard a Triad boss. It is almost bereft of any conflict until Shin (one of the pro killers) sleeps with the Mr. Lung's wife (Lung is the Triad boss). Up until that point, the five pros work together with perfect synergy and efficiency when dispatching potential threats they encounter in shopping malls, abandoned warehouses, and dark alleys. The action is shot in the…
The soundtrack is aweful, disregard that and you have a very solid action film.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Johnny To, as a director, has two extremes. On one end is gritty crime thrillers like the Election duology - which may have an action scene or two, but which otherwise are generally grounded in the real world. On the other end is Exiled, a film which has a fight scene early in the film where several characters in a firefight cause a table to flip and spin end over end with their bullet hits, but ultimately both come out of the film uninjured. In the middle lies The Mission.
The Mission is based around five Triad members - Curtis (Anthony Chau-Sang Wong), Roy (Francis Ng), Shin (Jackie Chung-yin Lui), Mike (Roy Cheung), and James (Suet Lam) - all from…
A busca pelo controle dos espaços e o modo como To coloca isso na tela são os motivos que transformam o enredo simples de The Mission em um elegante filme de ação. Os momentos mais cômicos nem sempre funcionam mas o drama é bem trabalhado e o desfecho não soa caricato.
A triad boss is attacked and gathers a group of hitman to protect him.
Apparently improvised and shot on an incredibly short turn around it seemed to both benefit and suffer because of it. The actors are all To regulars and more than capable of riffing on each other and getting across a convincing closeness.
The shortness of shooting seems to lead to an effort being made to maximise the utility of each location which in turn leads to some pretty good set pieces that mine the locations for visual twists. It also leads to some padding despite the short run time.
The set pieces are good, the mall shoot out in particular has a lot going on thats worth…
Just a list of Asian films I've seen so far. As complete as I can remember them/have them logged on…
innovative means of cinematic meditation and,
thus, freshly developed processes of perception.
inspired by Michelle Arf's 'New Ideas for Film'…