Original title: Zuijia paidang zhi nuhuang miling
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Tsui Hark
Starring: Sam Hui, Karl Maka, Sylvia Chang, Peter Graves, Richard Kiel, Jean Mersant, John Sham
Music: Lynsey De Paul
Now dear reader, I warn you that this film is subtitled Our Man From Bond Street, so during the course of this review, I am going to be laying on the Bond references thick and fast. This film prides itself on how many Bondian references it can squeeze into it’s 81 minute running time, and in the course of detailing what this movie has to offer, I’ll be regurgitating them back for you.
What does Mad Mission III: Our Man From Bond Street have to offer? Well, like previous instalments in the Mad Mission series it provides plenty of outrageous stunts and a swag of movie in-jokes. It is also a film from Hong Kong – made during the 1980’s. For me, one thing defines 80’s Hong Kong action cinema – and that’s broken glass. After a decade of cars, bikes and stuntmen crashing through so many panes of glass and windshields, I’d suggest that Hong Kong went into the 90’s as a windowless city. I am happy to report that Mad Mission III continues the window smashing legacy – it may seem tame compared to Jackie Chan’s Police Story, but I am sure the glaziers had their work cut out for them.
This installment opens with international Jewel thief Sam Hong Kong (Sam Hui) checking out the tourist attractions in Paris. Near the Eiffel Tower he sets up a piece of equipment on a tripod (I have no idea what it is). As he scans the area with a telescopic sight, a black leather clad babe sets up a rocket launcher behind him. As he swings around, he girl fires the rocket. He leaps out of the way at the last second, and then chases the girl on foot. The chase leads them to the river, and as they wrestle on the shore, a speedboat moves into towards them. Inside the boat is a Harold Sakata (Oddjob from Goldfinger) look-a-like. Like Oddjob, this guy has a killer steel-rimmed hat, which he slings at Sam. The flying hat is deflected by a metal suitcase and then returns to it’s master. The distraction gives the girl time to get away, and she makes her way to the Eiffel Tower.
Now folks, the scenes I am about to describe may seem familiar to fans of the Bond films, especially those that remember A View To A Kill – but this film was released in 1984, a year before the aforementioned Bond film. The chase continues, and Sam enters one of the elevator carriages on the tower. Inside, waiting is a seven foot tall giant, named Big G – played by Richard Kiel who Bond fans will immediately recognise as ‘Jaws’ from The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. As Sam is menaced by Big G, the elevator rises to the first level. The lift stops and the doors open. Then Oddjob’s deadly hat flies into the carriage, followed swiftly by it’s owner. This Oddjob is different to the Bondian one though. This fellow has a steel hand that can crush anything within it’s grasp. Now with two Bond villains after him, Sam decides it’s time to flee and smashes out a glass window and crawls out onto the roof of the elevator carriage. He is followed out by Big G who arrives on the roof with a parachute strapped to his back. Fearing nothing from the diminutive Sam, Big G removes the parachute and tosses it to the four winds. Sam, seeing his only chance of escape flying through the air, leaps off the carriage and catches the parachute mid flight. He straps it on, pulls the cord and drifts down towards the Seine. Above the river, he cuts himself free and falls into the dirty green water.
Poor old Sam’s problems don’t end there, I’m afraid. Next, underwater, he is chased by a giant mechanical shark. He tries to outswim it, but he is soon overtaken and swallowed by the mechanical beast. Inside, he finds himself in a hi-tech submarine, and confronted by James Bond – or at least, a Sean Connery look-a-like. But Bond is not an actual enemy. He in fact wants to recruit Sam. It seems that the Queen of England has lost her crown, and they need the master thief to re-acquire it from the security vault that it is being held in.
Sam agrees to the mission, but if he is going to return to a life of crime, even if it is for the Queen of England, he wants an alibi. His choice is his old sparring partner, Detective Kodyjack (Karl Maka). Sam arranges to meet Kodyjack at a restaurant. Knowing that Kodyjack fancies himself as somewhat of a lady-killer, Sam arranges for his assistant on the mission, Jade East to meet them at the restaurant. While Kodyjack ingratiates himself on Jade, Sam slips out to pull off the heist.
Adding to the plot convolution is the actual Man From Bond Street, secret agent Tom Collins – played by Peter Graves. As you’re no doubt aware, Graves played Jim Phelps in the Mission: Impossible television series – and yes, there is a joke about an self destructing message. Agent Collins is in Hong Kong on the trail of a gang of jewel thieves whose members specialise in impersonating the Conneryesque secret agents and the Queen.
This instalment in the Mad Mission series is a great deal of fun, but it is also extremely juvenile. But if you don’t mind lowest common denominator humour paired with outrageous stunts, then Mad Mission III: Our Man From Bond Street is a passable Bond parody.