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Mission Milano

Andy Lau, Andy Lau's finger, and Huang Xiaoming in Mission Milano.
Chinese: 偷天特務
Year: 2016
Director: Wong Jing

Wong Jing


Dion Lam Dik-On


Andy Lau Tak-Wah, Huang Xiaoming, Wong Cho-Lam, Nana Ouyang, Michelle Hu, Petrina Fung Bo-Bo, Evonne Hsieh Yi-Lin, Wu Yue, Mao Junjie, Shen Teng, Xu Dongdong, Ken Lo Wai-Kwong, Qi Wei, Zhao Yingjun, Dion Lam Dik-On

The Skinny: Mission Milano compares decently to other big-budget Wong Jing action comedies, which means it’s terrible filmmaking but not as bad as From Vegas to Macau III and won’t give you hives. We hope. A preposterous mix of OK action, overplayed comedy and obnoxious star turns. Have at it, fans.
by Kozo:

Mission Milano is stupid and silly but in a harmless and disposable way that’s become typical of writer-producer-director Wong Jing’s work. Audiences expecting exactly what Wong Jing sells should probably be fine. It’s terrible filmmaking but that’s beside the point, isn’t it? This completely ridiculous action-comedy-caper tells the story of suave Interpol agent Hung Kam-Bo (that’s Sammo Hung’s real name), who’s also called Sir Sampan and is played by the seemingly ageless Andy Lau. Sir Sampan is assigned to shadow super-rich heir and former Robin Hood-type thief Louis Luo (Huang Xiaoming), who’s involved with “Seed of God”, a revolutionary technology that promotes seed growth regardless of the location or weather. Seed of God is initially brought to Louis’ company, Haotian Technology, but Japanese criminal gang Crescent arrives, blasts up the place using preposterous sonic blasters, and steals the technology so that they can sell it to K-MAX, the biggest crime syndicate in the world. K-MAX plans to use Seed of God to produce cocaine, which would obviously be bad.

After the theft, Sir Sampan asks for a team-up with Louis Luo, but the two get hung up on ridiculous mano-a-mano competitions, including a game of “hit my face” and a highway race in expensive supercars. These Andy Lau versus Huang Xiaoming battles are supposed to be entertaining, but considering the main terrorist storyline, the whole thing just seems stupid. Mission Milano’s story has the forward momentum of an eighty year-old using a walker; the two leading men and Louis’ entourage, consisting of his little sister Ka-Yan (Nana Ouyang) and his pal Amon (Wong Cho-Lam), traverse the globe in search of Crescent but every stop is just an excuse for an extended gag or set piece. Logic is thrown out the window and the overarching storyline is usually ignored; the script feels like it was written backwards, with nonsensical filler added to connect pre-determined plot points that were never that credible to begin. Even by Wong Jing’s unambitious standard of action-comedy filmmaking, this is an exceptionally lazy and illogical spy thriller.

The story also lacks straight characters. Outside of the barely used Ka-Yan and maybe a few bad guys, everyone is uniformly wacky. Both Andy Lau and Huang Xiaoming do double-duty as suave heroes and comic relief, meaning their fans should be happy and anybody who likes consistent or developed characters shouldn’t. Lau does emote seriously on occasion, though the reason why is hackneyed and lamely played; Sir Sampan still longs for his ex-wife, and sometimes monologues through voiceover about how he might try to call her. When Sampan reveals his sorrow to Louis during one of their bizarrely sensitive personal chats, Louis responds by stiffly patting him on the back. While unintentionally amusing, the show of comfort is totally unconvincing and does little to make the developing brotherhood between the two characters interesting. At least the film sometimes features Sampan and Louis sharing sly winks or warm smiles, so slash fiction shippers will get their fix. Movies serve all sorts of people, and considering how handsome the male leads are (except, naturally, Wong Cho-Lam), we should acknowledge this particular audience.

Dion Lam’s action sequences are fine, involving exaggerated fighting between stunt doubles and actual capable actors (Wu Yue and Ken Lo as bad guys), with some nifty choreography occasionally employed. Also, the climactic fight sequence successfully mixes action and comedy, as the two heroes and an Interpol double agent (the identity of this person is totally obvious) take on the film’s big bad in a flying cargo plane. Getting to the ending is a kind of a chore, so it’s not like it redeems the entire film – but hey, it’s a lot better than the climax of From Vegas to Macau III. Also, Mission: Milano manages to deliver on its most important mystery, namely who will cameo as Sir Sampan’s ex-wife? The film teases her presence constantly, so you know she’ll show up and that she'll be someone famous, right? Well…she is! Nice job, Wong Jing, you managed to surprise us! Otherwise Mission Milano benefits from not being the most insulting or terrible Wong Jing movie ever. Relatively speaking, that means something. (Kozo, 12/2016)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Deltamac (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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