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.
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.
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…
Johnnie To is Howard Hawks and Michael Mann and violence and brotherhood and everything you could want from an artist of pop cinema.
A group of bodyguards (Wong, Ng, Leut, Cheung) bond as they protect their employee mob boss Lung from several hits until one of them becomes Lungs target himself...
This marks Johnnie To's first "Men on a Mission" movie establishing the group members who would re-appear in later missions. This movie is not as stylized as EXILED or VENGEANCE but the shoot outs are still outstanding and like in EXILED there are lots of them. The structure is also very similar to EXILED with the group moving from one action set piece to another with moments in between where the group members get to know each other and bond. I also liked the humorous bits a lot as they were played…
I must be loyale to my capo.
I really really enjoy johnnie to's style of filming. This one was as good as exiled (though its not as bloody) which is my favourite To movie. Filled with stylish and smart shootouts and as with other To movies, some cheesiness and humour.
The story, which was quite simple was executed really well and the chemistry between the main 5 characters was awesome to watch. It sucks that To is not that famous considering how consistent the quality of his movies are.
Third time seeing it. Still a perfect film.
One of Johnnie To's finest movies that I have seen so far. Like all of his movies, it is a blend of the blandly realist mixed with the action-packed ridiculous. Moving at an understated pace, you see the mundanity of the life of a bodyguard mixed interspersed with some of the most interesting and complex - yet quiet - action in any movie.
The shoot-out (as it were) in the mall is one of the best that I have ever seen.
was convinced this would end with a sparkler cigarette
An effortlessly cool crime picture from the king of the genre Johnnie To. Slow, methodical and with an eye to detail, it's a film in no rush to get where is't going instead focusing on scene after scene of our men with guns going through the motions and repeatedly engaging in shoot outs which are are less action orientated than they are excuses for the cast to strike messiah like posses.
Triad boss Lung, who has just escaped being killed in an assassination, hires five killers for his protection.
One must be reminded of Jean Pierre Melville after watching this film. The shootouts are a masterclass in editing and choreography. They play out as slow, methodical, tactical situations, with a touch of the surreal. Not exactly realistic, but they are expertly stylized and exude cool. But the downtime is almost as compelling, as the bodyguards wait and bond between gunfights, with a paper ball soccer match a highlight. The ending goes a bit too far into melodrama, but didn't feel entirely unearned.
The music is awful though. But every other aspect makes for an interesting take on the crime drama genre. Looking forward to checking out more of director Johnnie To's work.
Just a list of Asian films I've seen so far. As complete as I can remember them/have them logged on…