26 August 1999 | Jack_Yan
This third Mad Mission film continues the adventures of King King (Sam Hui), Albert Au (Karl Maka) and Superintendent Nancy Ho (Sylvia Chang). The films had become an institution in Hong Kong at the time, and Maka and co-producer Dean Shek knew that they had a ready-made audience.
Whether this led to a weaker script is not known but it is, apart from the fifth and last instalment, the weakest of the series penned by Maka and company. But the first two were hard acts to follow and there was always a risk of comparison.
For a start, you need to have seen the first two to understand the development of the characters. Nancy has married Albert, and have a bald son, who is introduced in this outing. King Kong receives a mission from Her Majesty the Queen (remember, this was in colonial Hong Kong) and along the way meets certain characters who resemble Sean Connery, Oddjob and Jaws.
The silliness of the film is not helped by Maka's willingness to make a fool of himself. This may be part of his humour and style but here it is taken to tiresome extremes. Certain ingredients from the earlier films are taken and exaggerated too greatly: Au's stupidity and suggested infidelity, Nancy's tough-cop routine, and King Kong's cad, James Bond-like attitude. The plot is extremely thin and at best confusing. Even by early 1980s Hong Kong standards, it leaves a lot to be desired.
It has its moments: Albert Au trying to use the police computer; the interrogation of King Kong by a police detective (played by Sam Hui's real-life brother, Michael); and the 'Aw, how cute' factor provided by Au's screen son. Mission: Impossible's Peter Graves makes a brief appearance in a scene which is entirely in Chinese (Graves is dubbed - badly). Some of the lines are not too bad, but one wonders how well they hold up in the dubbed English versions.
There is some poor dubbing in the Chinese original, with non-Chinese actors sounding typically bad. I suppose it's pleasing to know that the tables can be turned from time to time.
Fans of the series would be advised to go straight to the fourth instalment, which is far superior in humour and pace.