1991 Written by Johnny Lee Gwing-Gaai
Directed by Hua Shan
Angel Force gives us what we want, tons and tons of action. Sure, there’s a plot in there, a half-baked rescue mission in the jungle that for some reason is done by cops, and some corrupt cops angle, but mostly it is just tons and tons of action. Shooting, kicking, knifing, punching, ridiculous stunts…Hong Kong action at its finest. These are the types of videos guys like me seeked out like crack at rental stores because nothing like this was coming out of US studios. Angel Force just brings back so many memories of renting anything I could from the woefully undersupplied Foreign section of the local video stores, at least until I got to a town with an awesome video store, and then the rise of cheap DVDs.
One thing about Angel Force is the film randomly leaves the Hong Kong cop setting for the middle of the film to do a jungle commando rescue mission, a la the beginning of Predator. This sets Angel Force enough different from the competition without it becoming one of several jungle commando pictures that were also out at the time. I do love all these girls with guns flicks, the danger is with most having similar plots and featuring the same core of actresses, without ridiculous stunts the films will begin to blur. So anything that helps a picture stand out is good in my book.
May (Moon Lee Choi-Fung) – Cop who is sent to the jungle to take down a terorist general and rescue hostages, because you want cops doing that, not the army. Even though she brings army guys. Moon Lee can also be seen in Angels, Fatal Termination, and Tomb Raiders/Avenging Quartet
Peter Lung and Helen Lung (Wilson Lam Jun-Yin and ???) – Peter is a hardworking cop who keeps getting called back to work and thus having no time for vacations, which upsets his wife Helen. Peter gets shot halfway through the movie and misses out on the jungle battle. Their son is Yaya, who gets giant ninja turtle toy and quizzes everyone on what “make love” is.
Benny (Hugo Ng Doi-Yung) – Crazy guy brought in on the commando team because he’s awesome at commando stuff. But he’s also a jerk and likes to rape women, so up yours, Benny!
A Hong Kong Girls with Guns film, starring mainstay Yukari Oshima as well as costars Dick Wei and Phillip Ko. Directed by the infamous Godfrey Ho (though there are rumors that this Godfrey Ho was just a pseudonym for Phillip Ko!) and some random guy named Chris Li. This film followed in the wake of the Angels films and is filled with lots of action thrown together with a cops and triads plot where women beat up and shoot lots of dudes. The fad produced a great deal of these films before the market moved on to other things. So here’s one of them. It’s not the best, it’s not the worst, it just is. And some days, isn’t that enough?
Angel’s Mission is also known as Xian fa zhi ren, as well as Born to Fight, Buddha’s Justice, Kicking Buddha, and Sin faat jai yan. Welcome to the world of renamed Hong Kong movies!
Hing-tse (Yukari Oshima) – A Japanese police officer visiting her mother Song in Hong Kong and finds out her mom is involved in prostitution. Gets attacked by random guys constantly throughout the film, and even takes down a Triad boss for reasons not too clear but related to Japanese phobia of AIDS. See her also in Tomb Raiders, Godfather’s Daughter, and Deadly Target.
Lee San-Mo (Dick Wei) – A former triad who’s boss was murdered and is now searching for lost sister Anna. Gets sucked back into the Triad world while investigating. See him also in Angel Enforcers.
Mr. Ma Sheng-fung (Chen Kuan-Tai) – Crime boss, businessman, and not very bright. Gets killed due to his lack of killing his subordinate Crowbar like he should have. Don’t make that mistake, people! Kill your crowbars.
Crowbar (Phillip Ko) – Assistant to Ma Sheng-fung and planning to eliminate him and take over. Wins an award for having one of the dumbest names in a Hong Kong film, no small feat. Seriously, where’s Tire Iron and Jackhammer? Let’s have an “All Things Found in a Trunk” gang! That would rule. Warning Flare, Jumper Cable, Bag of Sand, all killer triad nicknames. Phillip Ko has been in a billion movies including Fatal Termination, Angel Enforcers, and Deadly Target.
Officer Karen (Ha Chi Chun) – Likes roughing up criminals and is a cop. Her brother was a triad boss, and just happened to be Lee San-Mo’s murdered boss. Ha Chi Chun is also known as Ha Chia Ling or Ha Chi-Jan depending on which translation you use, and was seen here in Angel Enforcers.
Creepy Triad #1 (????) – One of Crowbar’s men, this guy wears big sunglasses, big hats, and has a creepy grin. I could not figure out who the actor was.
Creepy Triad #2 (James Ha Chim-Si) – Another of Crowbar’s men, this guy also wears big sunglasses, big hats, and has a creepy grin.