10 January 2020 | Movie-Misfit
Different From Its Previous Entries, But Just As Fun!!
In what is probably the oddest opening to a Mad Mission - and with a series that opens with some pretty insane things, I know this will sound strange - we find King Kong in New Zealand, lying on the bed of scientist Roy Chaio and being shot in the face via a very special prism diamond. Enter Sally Yeh who takes a fancy to King Kong (Hui), and some bad guys who take a fancy to the prism. A quick getaway and some gunfire lead to an insane boat and helicopter chase, James Bond style, through the stunning kiwi landscape!
We quickly jump to Hong Kong where we find Baldy (Maka) in the middle of an ice hockey game - the HK Police Force vs Interpol, with Wong Fei Hung legend Kwan Tak Hing cameo-ing as his coach. Suddenly, King Kong (who has sent the prism to his friend) appears and helps his friend win the game, obviously in the most ridiculous and hilarious way possible which gets them kicked out.
Back in the changing room, Sally shows up, closely followed by the same bad guys and we are treated to a pretty fun fight - with Sam Hui showing a big improvement on his kung fu skills - courtesy of action-director Joe Chu who has worked on many HK classics. After another escape, we finally get to see the wonderful Sylvia Chang back on screen, along with their slightly older child (the same actor as before) who still suffers some on-screen abuse as he is forced off a roof in a harsh kidnapping attempt...
Once the kidnap is complete, the gang head back to New Zealand for a rescue mission resulting in some fun comedy moments, car chases, action scenes and great stunt work!
The late, great director Ringo Lam - famed for his dark, gritty crime thrillers and action films - was most definitely an interesting choice to follow up Tsui Hark's light-hearted and very ambitious romp in the previous instalment.
Gone are the fast cut, whacky slapstick comedy routines that made the first lot so crazy. Also gone are the dated, rough-around-the-edges shots, offering up a very smart looking production that shows a rise in budget and a director that wanted to make an impression.
Lam had only made a few films previous to this one, most of which were comedy or rom-com's. It's evident that what he delivered via Aces Go Places 4, in terms of action, let loose a desire to continue in that vein straight after with his famed 'On Fire' trilogy following over the next 12-18 months...
For me, this chapter of the series would have suited best as a stand-a-lone film, even as a sequel of sorts to Wong Jing's fantastic Magic Crystal (also 1986) or even better than that - a prequel to Sam Hui and Cinema City's very own (and very brilliant) Legend Of Wisely (aka The Legend Of The Golden Pearl from the following year)!
Don't get me wrong, there is a lot to like in this little gem. From the crazy action scenes and stunts, including a mad fire stunt from Karl Maka after he gets turned into a zombie-like super Baldy, to the more refined comedy scenes and its matured characters - I do think it's definitely the best of the bunch in regards to showing both Karl Maka and Sam Hui doing a lot of their own (and best) action.
I do really like this sequel, but as a 'Mad Mission' it just falls short of what made the others so much fun, unfortunately, by trying to hard and losing the insanity of its predecessors. It is however, a very well made action comedy that entertains a lot and is certainly one of Ringo Lam's more 'family friendly' films to watch...
Overall: Well worth the watch, but void of the madness that made us fall in love with the series in the first place!