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Archive for April 19th, 2012

In a skewed version of WW2, the Japanese capture four high ranking generals (one is called Abraham Lincoln!) during an attack on an allied camp and imprison them for ransom in Luxembourg. The Chinese are outraged at this incident. As 007, Snake Plissken, Rocky Balboa and Karl Maka (from the Aces Go Places movies) are unavailable for various reasons, the allies ask Lieutenant Don Wen to send a group of mercenaries to rescue the generals and stop the nasty Japanese. He rounds up a weird bunch of people such as 2 Chinese soldiers wearing kilts, a tramp, a femme fatale, a con artist and an escape artist with the promise of money as a reward. Along the way 2 thieves get involved with their antics. They are captured by a leopardskin wearing Amazon tribe led by an effeminate man in a tuxedo. The group manage to escape but they run into more trouble by staying the night in a haunted house. Will they manage to rescue the generals before it’s too late?

I’m not really sure what I just saw here but it has to be one of the oddest low budget HK comedies of all time. Maybe that’s why I’d never heard about it. It tries to be a wacky and surreal screwball comedy – maybe they wanted to copy Monty Python? It’s totally insane and so bad it’s ALMOST good. I emphasise on the word ALMOST! This is the only movie to have two HK legends in Jackie Chan and Brigitte Lin star together although the screentime they share is minimal. Jackie himself is barely in the movie – about 10-15 minutes at most. He only did this movie as a favour to one of the other actors (Jimmy Wang Yu) in the production who had protected him from the Triads during the early part of his career. The comedy is cringeworthy and embarassing at times such as 2 stupid Benny Hill type chase scenes which is terrible. The haunted house sequence which sees hopping vampires, skeletons and disembodied hands making appearances drags on for far too long. There’s even a couple of Japanese Nazis that pop up close to the end and don’t get me started on the climax which sees the Japanese attack the mercenaries in their 1970’s clapped out cars almost like something out of Mad Max! The movie is completely incomprehensible, silly, and so OTT with scenes just finishing unexpectedly and moving on to the next. I’m sure the filmmmakers were almost making the script up as they went along. It’s possible that they made it this bad on purpose – who knows? You just don’t know what to expect in it. The beginning of the movie even has a musical number. The only bright spots were the 3 fights that Jackie is involved in and Brigitte Lin is sort of OK in her role. The escape from the Amazon camp at night is well done with plenty of action and explosions. Just about everything including the kitchen sink is thrown into this movie!

Fantasy Mission Force has to be one of the most bizarre movies I’ve seen. It’s not often I’m gobsmacked after watching a movie but I was after seeing this. Actually I would ask Asian movie fans to watch this because it’s something you’ve got to experience……just have a couple of beers first before you do and don’t try to make any sense from the plot because you won’t be able to!!

Sadako’s Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

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