Extraordinary Mission [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Crimson Forest / Cinedigm
Review written by and copyright: Eric Cotenas (7th February 2018).
The Film

For the past three years, rookie police officer Lin Kai (The Great Wall's Xuan Huang) has been deep undercover in the drug ring of Yang Bin (Xiao Bingrui) trying to discover the source of the drugs and how they manage to get into the country. He has already found out that police inspector Chang Yi (Cock and Bull's Wang Yanhui) is part of the operation, and is nearly caught himself when Chang Yi sacrifices Yang Bin and a million dollars in drugs after being pressured into making a bust by his own superior Wang Bo (Bingrui Zhao) who himself is under investigation by Lin Kai's handler Li Jiango (1911's Jiadong Xing). In order to find out where the drugs are coming from, he helps Yang Bin's contact Luo Dongfeng (League of Gods' Feng Zu) escape the bust and finds himself somewhere in the Golden Triangle at the mercy of Thai drug kingpin Eagle (The Dead End's Yihong Duan). Lin Kai manages to save his own life by offering to lead Dongfeng and his "daughter" Qingshui (Mountain Cry's Yueting Lang) to Chang Yi to retrieve the drugs which were not found at the bust. In capturing Chang Yi, Lin Kai also manages to lure Wang Bo who now finds himself under Eagle's thumb. Lin Kai proposes that he take over Chang Yi's operations and promises exponential profits as a way of trying to pinpoint the location of Eagle's fortress for Li Jiango since he is blindfolded when being transported to and from there and satellites jam GPS signals. Li Jiango is shocked to learn of Eagle since he believed the man to have been killed along with his partner Zhang Haitao (A Time to Love's Xing Jiadong) in bust that took the lives of Eagle's wife and unborn child. When Li Jingo learns that his partner has been kept alive and tortured by Eagle for the last ten years, he may endanger the lives of Lin Kai and himself in order to rescue him.

Advertised as being from the director of Infernal Affairs - it is actually jointly credited to that film's director Alan Mak (The Lost Bladesman) and cinematographer Anthony Pun (Divergence), although it also boasts a script by the aforementioned film's writer Felix Chong – the only thing extraordinary about Extraordinary Mission is the boredom that sets in as the filmmakers go through just about every "heroic bloodshed" cliché in an increasingly ludicrous scenario in which each revelation of corruption is another groaner, every character has a "traumatic past" flashback in an attempt to give them depth and sympathy, and our inexperienced protagonist can kick an enforced morphine addiction by tying himself up and suffering through a sequence of hallucinations of his addict mother; not to mention a torture victim who is described as being barely stronger than a cripple who can can shoot and hop off buildings with as much agility as the rookie turned undercover operative. Although it runs just over two hours, the film is at is best in the last half-hour when it gives up striving for its unearned poignancy and surrenders to an extended shoot-em-up with bazookas, motorcycles, and multiple car chases that is not so much exciting as more watchable than what came before it. Infernal Affairs it certainly is not.

Video

Shot on the Red Dragon Epic camera and mastered in 2K, the 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 widescreen encode of Extraordinary Mission looks "extraordinary" for the most part with a color scheme that veers between the drab green-tinged "edgy" look of the city scenes and the bright, sweltering look of the Golden Triangle scenes. Detail is strong in the close-ups and the gritty textures of the city and the jungle, but there are a couple shots late in the film as the hero is driving over the tops of buildings on a motorcyle when there appears to be some ringing in the textures of the rooftops in the wider shots.
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Audio

The sole audio option is a Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that makes thorough use of the sound field throughout the action scenes while the scoring has some effective bass when explosions are not making use of the LFE. Optional English subtitles are available and, as usual, the spellings of names do not always correspond to how they appear in the end credits.
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Extras

Extras are confined to a superflous making-of (4:28) segment and the film's theatrical trailer (1:12).
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Overall

Advertised as being from the director of Infernal Affairs, the only thing extraordinary about Extraordinary Mission is the boredom that sets in as the filmmakers go through just about every "heroic bloodshed" cliché in an increasingly ludicrous scenario.

 


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