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  Mad Mission Part 2: Aces Go Places Robots Spin Dese Guys
Year: 1983
Director: Eric Tsang
Stars: Samuel Hui, Karl Maka, Sylvia Chang, Yasuaki Kurata, Joe Dimmick, Su Wang, Cho Tat-wah, Tsui Hark, Hon Kwok Choi, Eric Tsang, Lau Leung-Fat, Billy Lau, Tai San, Gin Lo, Lee Ka Ting, Yip Ha-Lei, Chan Lap Ban, Man Ngai-Dik, Ng Kwok-Kin, Wellington Fung
Genre: Comedy, Action, Thriller, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Recently the skilled jewel thief King Kong (Samuel Hui) relieved a group of gangsters of their diamond heist, and in the ensuing events managed to kill off the head honcho, White Gloves. His brother Black Gloves (Joe Dimmick) is less than impressed, and seeing as how he is a gangster as well he sets about both trying retrieve the haul and exacting vengeance on Kong with all the technology he has available to him. To that end, when the target returns to his apartment today, he notices a door is ajar and suspects that he is not alone, which proves correct when a large robot makes its presence felt. A battle takes place where the machine sends its flying fists and missiles in the direction of Kong - can he succeed against this adversary?

It would be a short film if he didn't, this being the sequel to Mad Mission, a Hong Kong film that made waves around the world in its popularity, not simply with the home crowd. That had set the agenda, not simply for its own franchise but for a whole plethora of movies from out of that territory with its winning combination of broad humour and even broader stunts, and so it was with Part 2 - you knew you were in for entertainment when the opening credits boast of the involvement of the guys who took care of the explosives, motorcycle and car stunts straight after the cast are listed. So it was the effects and physical endeavours were as much the stars of the show as the leading actors, which was precisely how the audiences wanted it.

This time around Sylvia Chang as Superintendent Ho got less to do, with the main comedy taken care of as effectively a double act between Hui and Karl Maka as detective Albert Au, the Kojak-referencing goof who became possibly the series' best-loved character (Maka served as producer, too). In a manner that follows on more or less directly from the first instalment, we caught up with Au and Ho on their wedding day, which naturally is crashed by Kong who is being chased by numerous henchmen, this coming after escaping the robot (Transformers were newly major toys at the time, hence the similar adversary featured here) and indulging in a motorcycle chase which sets out the adventure as it means to go on, Kong's aptitude with creating James Bond-style gadgets meaning his bike turns into a jetski on contact with water.

Never mind how, it just does, OK? If anything those stunts were even more numerous than they had been in the first instalment, not so much kung fu on the other hand as that tended to be elbowed out of the way, replaced by such sights as people falling from a great height or the inevitable vehicles taking a battering, including one pursuit where Kong and Albert ride in a car progressively losing more and more of its body, from the gear stick (necessitating driving backwards as the bad guys race after them) to the roof, and eventually it's split in two while still zooming along the road. Needless to say, this spirited ludicrousness was part and parcel of the Mad Mission series, though while this may have been a leader in some ways, it was not immune to other pop culture influences.

The Bond themes were a given, but Black Gloves was played by a Clint Eastwood impersonator complete with stubble and cigarillo, and a sting from The Good The Bad and The Ugly on the soundtrack whenever he appeared. Then there were the toys which inspired another near-climactic sequence where Kong and Albert are trapped in a submarine with an even bigger robot which unleashes a barrage of bombs and laser beams, countered by a far smaller array of gadgets in a manner that seems to have inspired a similar scene in nineties megaflop Toys. It's a daft scene, yet underlines the cartoonish nature of the movie, as do the frequent instances of the leads getting into scrapes that would surely have seen them killed in real life, but here has them bouncing back from every mishap with nary a scratch. Hui's love interest was Juju (Su Wang in her only film), a thief like he is who keeps double crossing him, resulting in a farcical Valentine's Day nightclub brawl at one point, but for car lovers the sight of a Rolls Royce put through its paces will either prompt admiration or winces. Music by Teddy Robin Kwan.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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