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Cheung foh (1999)
A film of values, composition and insistent music.
"The Mission" steers away from the usual plot types of the Hong Kong Cinema New Wave and does not rely on martial arts for thrills. Instead, what we have here is a sort of marginal "Reservoir Dogs" since there is a sense of comradery between the five assigned hit men (though a cigarette prank isn't as charming as its played to be). Consider the scene where a sniper catches the five hit men off guard as they escort their boss to a car. One of the hit men veers off and is left behind on the conscience decision of the lead hit-man. When this left behind man returns to base, he slaps the lead man in the most offending manner for minutes. The lead man, a tough guy named "Ice," allows himself to be beaten. Why? Because in their world of corrupt organizations and tight hit groups, one does not leave a man behind. This sense of loyalty arises to a full extent in the third act, where the men must question what is the "right" thing to do.
The film also contains a couple of shoot out scenes. But don't be fooled; you are not gonna watch "The Matrix." Instead, look for the wide angle lense shots of various suited hit men standing in very specific places, barely moving their feet, but the sequences are very exciting because if you step back, it's orchestrated skillfully and cued beautifully to the--music.
From the opening scroll a sort of 'laughable' techno beat pumps, and all sorts of upbeat synthesized sounds fill the soundtrack to an unexpected result: an acceptance. After a while, you look forward to hearing what kind of sound matches up with what sort of scene. This type of tough, nitty genre relies on music, and the setting of the film calls for this amped up sound.