Angel’s Mission (Review)

Angel’s Mission

aka Xian fa zhi ren

Directed by Godfrey Ho and Chris Li

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.

We start out with the standard synthesizer score, as a truck is driving through Hong Kong. They’re going to a money for diamonds deal that goes sour as double-crossers get double-crossed. That’s like four crosses! Who these people are is not important at this juncture, only the fact that they are machine gunning each other down matters! KILL! DEATH!! MURDER!!! The gwailos get gunned down by one Chinese guy (and his 2 partners in the car gets a few more.) He is Crowbar, assistant to crime boss Ma Sheng-fung and ambitious to the point of plotting Ma’s exit from gang life via bullets. Crowbar is usually flanked by two Creepy Triads, who have the same sunglasses/hat/creepy smile motif that is scarier than some horror films.

Meanwhile Yukari Oshima is a Japanese cop named Hing-tse because she’s actually Chinese. After training her student officers in Japan, she goes on vacation to Hong Kong to visit her mother Song. Song manages a hostess club that just happens to be filled with prostitutes and run by Mr. Ma Sheng-fung. I cannot see this ending well.

More random plots continue to develop, as a girl named Anna is on the run from the club Song runs with a blank check given to her by Wong Fei-hung. (Wong Fei-hung the famous Chinese folk hero???) All you need to know is he’s some rich dude who is dumb enough to give hostesses blank checks. I bet he marries a 18-year-old stripper when he’s 80 and really thinks she loves him. Mr. Ma sends Crowbar to go get her, but Crowbar has plans of his own. Anna uses one of those ancient giant cell phones to call her brother Lee who is out of the country. Hiding in the ladies room at the airport is not save haven from the Creepy Triads, who take her to Crowbar’s secret lair and drug her. Crowbar lies to Ma saying he couldn’t find her, and acts with contempt behind his boss’s back. No word on what happens to the check, but I find it hard to believe that they can’t do check stopping in Hong Kong.

Hing-tse walks into Song’s nightclub, and is thought to be the new hostess girl by an assistant manager who tries to hit her, so she beats him and many other dudes up. Hing-tse wears a lot of sporty outfits, which helps her beat up random guys, I guess. Actually, it’s just related to Yukari Oshima’s asexualism in movies. Song’s new boyfriend Tiger is a complete jerkwad, played by Lee Chun-Wa, who usually plays random guards in HK action films. Tiger is not the most faithful of boyfriends and is cast out.

Meanwhile 21 minutes into the film a new character is introduced, a female cop named Officer Karen. Officer Karen beats up suspects to get information, so we know she’s a tough cop. Lee San-Mo arrives in Hong Kong to look for his missing sister Anna, and is met at the airport by a man named Ah Cheung who has a limp. This scene is set to the song I’m Only Human which is sort of surreal because A)- It’s NOT a random synthesizer song and B)- It’s a real song! Ah Cheung explains entire plot on white subtitles over white backgrounds- AAARRRGGHHH!! Luckily, I’ve figured out the plot which is why I can do this review, but seriously, all subtitles should be yellow. I can’t tell you how often I’ve missed whole scenes due to white subtitles on white backgrounds. And that leads to making up random stuff. Which is always fun.

An assassination attempt on Ma is foiled partially by San-Mo. Ignore that, as there is a confusing slide show about how Japan will be facing extinction if AIDS hits their shore, put on by some Japanese cops. They then realize that Hing-tse is in Hong Kong, so now her new job is to find Japanese hookers to give blood tests on to see if they have AIDS. And you thought your vacation sucked. More horrors, as her mom is on a list of suspected Japanese hookers.

San-Mo becomes the new assistant to Ma, and Crowbar is ticked. Ex-boyfriend Tiger is now working at a strip club! We got boobies – fake boobies – in the woman in the stage act he’s a part of. Why do they have a random guy on stage with the stripper? Because I’m sure that’s what guys in the club want to see. Hing-tse is attacked by thugs while jogging, because the action was slowing down. So now that we had an action sequence, we can get back to Hing-tse talking to Japanese prostitutes, namely one named Kumy who was Anna’s roommate.

Ma’s gang robs the Big Circle gang to stir up trouble, but robbery is almost foiled by Crowbar’s robbery of the robbery. San-Mo escapes with cash – except there is no cash, the whole thing was all a ruse to try to kill Crowbar by Ma (and San-Mo was unaware.) San Mo also finds out Crowbar may know where Anna is, but no word on why Ma just didn’t invite Crowbar over to his office and shoot him instead of setting up a complicated robbery that had many more chances to go wrong.

Crowbar plots revenge, and hires the gang he stole the diamonds from in the beginning to help bring down Ma in exchange for the return of their diamonds. We know these diamonds are valuable because “Every piece of jewelry is bigger than a yellow bean!” That is the same quality criterion used by the International Gemological Institute! Crowbar shoots up Ma’s “drugs smuggled in watermelons” factory, and Crowbar’s two goons kill Ma. I guess that’s the end of it, then. Or not, as San-Mo is still running around.

San-Mo and Ah Cheung sneak into Crowbar’s hideout while they are celebrating with the Italian Mafia over killing Ma, also the missing AIDS-infected Japanese ladies and Song are there. Hing-tse lurking about outside as well (where the heck did she come from?). A lot of loose ends flying together all at once here, get out your eye protection!

San-Mo finds his sister dead in the bathtub – suicide! Everyone’s gonna die! And so the shooting begins. Lots get shot, Ah Cheung manages to get killed needlessly when he could have just hung back and not been shot, but at least he takes someone with him. San-Mo and Crowbar are the last two left standing, so they changeup from guns to an old-fashioned martial arts battle. Downstairs, Hing-tse fights the two Creepy Goons of Crowbar. More random goons join those Creepy Goons, while upstairs one of the shot Mafia guys isn’t quite dead yet and does some Italian Mafia Kung Fu despite having been shot in the shoulder by a shotgun. Why did he join the Mafia when he should have joined the Fantastic Four?

Cop Karen shows up to help as Crowbar goes downstairs to fight both women, and also some goons are still around. I guess it’s tag-team as there are several opponents switching. People go flying all over the place due to superhuman kicks and punches, it’s cool stuff. Eventually all the goons are dispatched, Karen shoots Crowbar in the chest three times, then Hing-tse kicks him dead. I’m surprised they had Karen shoot Crowbar as opposed to San-Mo with his vested interest in killing Crowbar for sister avenging. The movie ends as San-Mo carries his dead sister out of the building as the two female cops look on.

Another Girls with Guns entry comes to an end. And again it is filled with action, but just doesn’t have an iconic sequence in it. Thus it is probably doomed to obscurity until dredged up by some random guy for his website. Oh, hey!

Rated 5/10 (I’m Japanese!, I’m Dead, I’m Angry!, I am also dead, I’m Rambo!)

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2 thoughts on “Angel’s Mission (Review)

    • I have only found it on vhs, though it is possible it is on vcd. It might also be under a completely different name, as these more obscure films sometimes are (I’ve seen it listed as Born to Fight and Born to Fight 2, though I don’t think either are actual alternate names on video releases). I was unable to locate anything when I searched besides vhs tapes, sorry.

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