An unfocused and overcomplicated tale of Hong Kong gangsters doublecrossing one another while undercover cops and relatives stumble around the periphery looking for missing girls.
Japanese cop Cynthia (Yukari Oshima) shows up at the nightclub-cum-brothel managed by her mom in Hong Kong, ostensibly on vacation but actually seeking previous hostesses who have mysteriously vanished. One such girl is Anna, whose brother Barry Lee (Dick Wei) shows up searching for her.
Coincidentally Lee is an old buddy of the brothel's owner, gang-leader Joseph Ma (Chen Kuan Tai). Ma's right-hand man, Garrett Wong (Philip Ko) is responsible for the girls' disappearances. Barry Lee quickly finagles his way into the organization, while Cynthia teams up with a local female cop.
Ultimately, Wong betrays his boss to a rival Sicilian gang, and Ma is killed, his drug operation seized. Lee invades a party for the Sicilians at Wong's and finds his sister dead in the bathtub. With the help of the two female cops, he then kills everyone.
Truly a miserable piece of moviemaking, ANGEL'S MISSION seems to have been written by an eight-year-old and edited by his blind twin. Director Godfrey Ho, a trend-chasing hack who worked extensively in costume chopsockys and Bruce Lee ripoffs before graduating to ninjas, kickboxers, and femme
fighters, is renowned for buying up cheap and crappy old films and splicing several of them together into cheap and crappy new films, with no regard for plot, character, or even time period (being quite happy to randomly mix modern action with period kung fu in the same film). Here he keeps the
plot lurching forward like a one-legged drunk, substituting coincidence for continuity and peppering the tale with lame humor, including supposed comic relief from Cynthia's harpy mom and her studly bouncer beau, both of whom simply vanish from the plot halfway through, after he gets to perform a
dance with a gratuitous nude in the club.
What entertainment can be gleaned from the film is largely accidental. Ma's drug factory is staffed by literal morons, whooping it up singing and dancing instead of properly stuffing their watermelons with dope, one of them subtly stealing a gallon bag of drugs by jamming it in his jacket; a
watching gunman spots the baggie bulging from his coat and sagely concludes that maybe this is the guy who's been robbing them blind. Wong's party for the Sicilians is another four-star affair, taking place in a mansion sans furniture where the dozen of them sit cross-legged on the floor drinking
beer, clapping hands, and singing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow."
Chen Kuan Tai (billed here as "Kenneth Chan") was a major martial arts star for Hong Kong's Shaw Brothers studio in the early '70s, later graduating to desk roles as cops and criminals in mostly forgettable pictures. Dick Wei (for some reason listed as "Ron Van Lee") and Yukari Oshima (under her
Filipino pseudonym of "Cynthia Luster") are both top-notch fighters, and they tangle very briefly in one dark scene; separately they have some entertaining if unexceptional battles. Padding out the fight scenes, Ho has Yukari beat up her students in martial arts class, and trounce a thug who's
collecting debts in a gym. Ma is initially saved from ambush by Lee, who shows up for no reason in a confusingly shot sequence; similarly, the lady cops simply appear at the end for no reason whatsoever. But the most striking narrative non sequitur has Alfred Cheung in a cameo explaining that the
Japanese authorities are concerned not because the girls are missing, rather that they'll return to Japan with AIDS caught in Hong Kong and infect the homeland. (Violence, extensive nudity, sexual situations, extreme profanity.)
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- Released: 1989
- Review: An unfocused and overcomplicated tale of Hong Kong gangsters doublecrossing one another while undercover cops and relatives stumble around the periphery looking for missing girls. Japanese cop Cynthia (Yukari Oshima) shows up at the nightclub-cum-brothel… (more)