A Hong Kong crime thriller with an awkward mix of family melodrama and kung fu, THUNDER MISSION serves as a subpar showcase for the talents of Japanese fighting star Michiko Nishiwaki in a story about an inheritance battle.
Annie Wan (Michiko Nishiwaki), a successful Hong Kong businesswoman, learns that her estranged father has died in Japan. Arriving in Hong Kong are Annie's half-sister Shannon (Jiang Shan) and Shannon's Japanese husband Keith Suzuki (Lin Wei). Annie is soon subjected to violent attempts on her life
by masked sword-wielding attackers. She and her partner Chilli (Wong Hung) both know kung fu and are able to defend themselves. Henry Lee (Fang Chun Sin), a supervisor on one of Annie's projects, takes an interest in Annie and is drawn into helping fight off her frequent attackers.
Annie's mother is killed in an attack and Annie blames Shannon and her husband and accuses them of trying to get full title to their father's estate. Chilli gets involved with an anti-terrorist agent named Bill (Yu Ta Peo) who works undercover as a bartender. Henry's adoptive brother, Lance (Lu
Fung), is also an undercover agent. They all suspect the attacks on Annie may be related to syndicate activity.
Eventually, everyone convenes at a closed coal mine which is part of the estate. The syndicate's Japanese thugs attack and are revealed to be working for Suzuki. Henry, his buddies Hank and Charlie, and Lance all show up and join Annie, Chilli, Bill and Shannon in kung fu fights with the thugs.
Suzuki and the Japanese criminals are killed.
THUNDER MISSION boasts two interesting female leads, Michiko Nishiwaki and Wong Hung, and some exciting kung fu fights. Nishiwaki is a Japanese performer and stunt woman with a body-building background who deserved better showcases than she generally got in Hong Kong. (She has since relocated to
America.) The plot here is particularly convoluted and features an abundance of extraneous characters including a pair of goofball construction workers on the make. The family conflict is quite moving, but belongs in a better, more developed plot structure. The final battle scene, shot in a
sprawling abandoned mine site, is quite spectacular, although it's improbable that all the principals would know kung fu. The title has absolutely nothing to do with anything that happens (or doesn't happen) in the film. Made in 1992, this is one of a series of fighting femme films released in the
U.S. for the first time in 1998 by Tai Seng Video Marketing. (Violence, profanity.)
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- Released: 1992
- Review: A Hong Kong crime thriller with an awkward mix of family melodrama and kung fu, THUNDER MISSION serves as a subpar showcase for the talents of Japanese fighting star Michiko Nishiwaki in a story about an inheritance battle. Annie Wan (Michiko Nishiwaki),… (more)