Recapped!: “Heavenly Mission”

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“Coffee will always be coffee, no matter what you add to it…”

words: desmond “neo” childs

You are a bad person. You’ve done some horrible things and everyone hates you. You would lie, cheat, and steal if it meant you got what you wanted. Heck, I wouldn’t put something like murder or extortion past you either. You’re a real devil, you know? There’s no hope for criminals like you, as a special circle of hell awaits you! You dirty, stinking dog! Why don’t you do us all a favor and….TURN OVER A NEW LEAF!? HUH!?

Enter the world of Autumn Yip. This guy was bad. He was mean. He was ruthless. No one stood in his way, and his sworn brothers faithfully did his bidding. Well, after he’s finally brought down and arrested; he undergoes a transformation in prison. Naturally, we don’t really see him in prison, but we’re lead to believe he read some life changing books while locked up. Anyway, now that he’s out of prison, he immediately looks to start anew. And I don’t mean, start a new drug ring, or pimp some new women out. I mean start his whole approach to life over. He wants to be a “good guy” and he goes through great lengths to show it.

The premise of the film seems to lie somewhere inbetween Autumn Yip’s unlikely change of lifestyle and everyone else wondering whether or not it’s all just a hoax. Unsurprisingly, it’s Autumn’s own brothers who have the hardest time believing he’s truly changed. Ghost, one of the more outspoken brothers, seems to carry a jealous streak; and spends most of the film looking to expose Autumn (in some shape or fashion) as a phony.

The story does hold some intrigue to a point, when Autumn’s selfless giving ironically makes those around him more suspicious. Once we sort of see what Autumn is all about, the falling action consists of all the things you’d see in a typically cops vs thugs shootout. There’s even what I classify as a “Ah here we go” ending. Without spoiling it directly, Batman Rises had this sort of ending too. Anyway, let me give some background information on the director, next.

Directed by: James Yuen

Mr. Yuen has an extensive catalouge of credits as both a writer and director. Other notable projects include The Warlords (2007), Bodyguards and Assassins (2009), Lost in Time (2003), and an early 90s work; Gam chi yuk sip (1994). His camera does nothing fantastic here, but the story doesn’t call for it. It does well in to sort of bounce off the walls in a thriller like Heavenly Mission. There’s a few scenes that stood out, such as the last scene at the beach and the exchange between the Police chief and the guy who ran the newspaper. Very vague. Very intentional.

So the question, as always, is did I feel like my time was well spent? Or was this movie any good to me? I have to say that for a thriller, it doesn’t pack as much punch as you’d expect. It also never really gives chills as characters motivations are poorly hidden. There’s a tack on relationship between a disabled young woman, that seems to exist solely for the hero to have to save her. These are negatives that sort of bring this movie down. However, the film doesn’t go for anything to ambitious so I may just be splitting hairs with my criticism. Either way the movie is, as of today, available for watch on Netflix Instant. Check it out, let me know what you think! ^_^’

Here’s the trailer:

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