Fantasy Mission Force (1984)

November 17, 2003 • Film, Reviews

[director Chu Yen-Ping]

Did Jackie Chan know when he worked with Taiwanese filmmaker Chu Yin Ping in the mid-eighties that he was signing on for the weirdest movies of his life? He did that wild, weird movie Island of Fire with Sammo Hung, Andy Lau, and Tony Leung Kar-Fei, but first he did this even stranger one with Brigitte Lin, Elvis Tsui, and Chang Ling.

I won’t even bother with plot; the plot is so woolly that I could never follow it. In most parts of the narrative Jackie is chasing chickens and other silly stuff to impress Chang Ling, for whom he is a more than capable sidekick. In fact, when Brigitte Lin and the other psycho members of the Fantasy Mission Force (when she accepts the gig, Brigitte blows up her home with a bazooka!) get defeated by a scary army of road warriors, Jackie single-handedly defeats them all.

But Jackie isn’t even the main character in this movie! It seems to be Brigitte Lin. She was more impressively featured in Pink Force Commandos and Golden Queen Commandos, two other Chu Yin Ping films from the same year, but she’s also the nominal leader of the Fantasy Mission Force in this one. Under her sterling leadership the gang gets lost in haunted houses, trundles through dense jungles, and finally arrives at a pagoda where the road warriors massacre them.

What’s the point of it all? Who knows. But Chu Yin Ping’s warped vision of the world is certainly an oddball perspective, unique in world cinema.

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