̨Ω (1982)
Aces Go Places


Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 02/24/2007

The first in a long-running franchise of largely successful screwball spy films featuring characters dubbed King Kong, Gigolo Joe, Ding Dong, and Mad Max whose best gags come at the expense of others. The film's tone, which is distinctly '80s, hasn't weathered particularly well.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 06/03/2006

The first in a long (perhaps TOO long) series of comedy crime capers, this one involves stolen diamonds, and introduces the characters that would appear throughout the series.

The Aces Go Places (also known in some territories as “Mad Mission”) series kicks off in suitable style with a relatively high budget and breezy fun-packed script. Looking at it now, it has dated somewhat (but then, what film from 1982 hasn’t?) and the gadgets do tend to appear to be cheap and “fragile” looking, but there is certainly still some entertainment to be had from it.

The central characters are all fun, with Sam Hui finally coming out of the considerable shadow of his big brother Michael. Interestingly, he looks rather like Jackie Chan at times (especially in regard to his hairstyle) and we do get a bit of Jackie-esque action thrown in for good measure – although in later instalments the action elements would almost entirely give way to the gadgets and laughs when it became clear that they could not seriously compete with Chan for sheer high-octane action. Sam Hui also sings the annoyingly catchy theme tune that will probably stay with you for the rest of your life, resurfacing in your mind from time to time in wholly inappropriate situations.

Elsewhere, we have the beginning of the love/hate relationship between Karl Maka’s Albert/Kodojak (or just plain “Baldy”) and Sylvia Chang’s Nancy. Sylvia Chang, although not exactly pretty, exudes a surprising amount of sexiness throughout the films, and never more so than in this one. Why Albert spends so much of the series avoiding her is beyond me.

All in all, the Aces Go Places series are dated but still fun, and you’ll find yourself humming along to “Jeui Gaai Paak Dong” for the rest of eternity.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 03/08/2006
Summary: the first of five...

eric tsang directing a pink panther-esque cop / crime caper, packed with early eighties hong kong sillyness and a whole lot of fun for it. nice cameo from tsui hark too.

good stuff and i look forward to watching the other four films in the series...


Reviewed by: Frank Lakatos
Date: 02/11/2006
Summary: Full of comedic scenes and gimmicks..

Everything that has been said about this movie, has been said. Hilarious! One of the greatest comedy series in HK cinema! Full of comedic scenes and gimmicks! The English subbed version is the best way to see this movie, in order to appreciate the original dialogue, which is witty and hilarious. 5/5


Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 04/20/2003
Summary: i think it was good BACK THEN........

well i did get a few laughs but overall this movie does show its age, just look at Sam Hui's hair!!

The emphaisis is more on comedy than action and this is a good formula that makes this movie work. I guess i watched this to see what the hype is about and in some ways, i did see why!!

7/10


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 02/12/2002

A master thief known as King Kong (Hui) lifts a cache of diamonds from the Mafia and manages to fool them (and the police) into thinking that another thief known as White Gloves is the culprit. Stumped, the cops turn to a Chinese-American detective called Kodojack (and Baldy and also Albert...anyway, he's played by Karl Maka) whose arse is on the line after losing White Gloves' trail in the States. They pair him up with a tough policewoman, Nancy (Chang), and eventually the two end up teaming with King Kong to bring down White Gloves.

Karl Maka, along with Dean Shek (who has a minor role in this movie as King Kong's sidekick) and Raymond Wong formed the Cinema City Company in 1980, and even though it only lasted about a decade, Cinema City had a hand in some of Hong Kong's most influential movies, such as A Better Tomorrow (John Woo -- under various pseudonyms -- worked for Cinema City for a time in the early '80's when he was in a creative slump). However, they are best known for their family-oriented comedies, spearheaded by this movie.

Aces Go Places was intentionally done with an international audience in mind, using a (relatively) large budget, western actors and crew, references to Hollywood movies and television shows, and a smattering of English dialogue (some of the Cantonese jokes were also tweaked somewhat to translate better). The movie also has, in many ways, the feel of a old-time Hollywood serial, with cliffhangers or other twists occurring at the end of every reel (15 minutes). However, Aces Go Places also sports the multigenre schematic, pop music integrated into the movie (Sam Hui -- a popular singer offscreen -- sings the movie's theme song), and probably most importantly, manic pacing, heavy Hong Kong pop culture references and dependence and celebration of Cantonese that would come to give Hong Kong cinema its' unique identity during the 1980's.

Coming off the heels of the dark period kung fu movies directed by people like Chang Cheh, the fast and breezy Aces Go Places yielded a huge hit in Asia (it made back three times its' budget in Hong Kong alone), though it never hit it big overseas, as the popularity of martial arts films was on a temporary downturn, and most western distributors wrongly equated any Asian film with kung fu. It's quite a shame, really, since this is one of the better films to come out of Hong Kong during this period. It offers a nice mix of action and comedy, cemented by the chemistry of the three leads. If you've never seen a Hong Kong comedy before, Aces Go Places is an excellent place to start. It strikes a nice balance between Jackie Chan and Steven Chow's style, at once being able to translate universally but also being something quite unique to Hong Kong.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002
Summary: See it, but don't buy it

This was the first in several movies starring the duo of Sam Hui & Karl Maka, and in my opinion are all as bad as each other.

This is an action/comedy of the early 80's, and as far as originality, story and cast go, it rates quite low for me. However, some of the action scenes are quite good, and I must admit to laughing quite a few times, which made it reasonably entertaining, but it definitely did drag and is one of those movies you can only really watch once.

If you compare this to that of Winners and Sinners which was released about the same time, something like that is much better, which is along the same lines, but much funnier and more action.

Rating (of 5): 2

(This rating is based on the year & genre, so don't think it's based as a comparison on new releases etc.)

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Darryl
Date: 12/21/1999

A professional thief and a bumbling American Chinese cop team up to infiltrate a Mafia diamond smuggling ring. A great GODFATHER-in joke and decent action.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: leh
Date: 12/09/1999

First in a very popular series. For these films, effortswere made to draft in non-Chinese stars to give them international appeal. The Chinese versions are called "Aces go Places", while the westernized ones are the "Mad Missions".