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Film / Aces Go Places

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Aces Go Places (最佳拍檔, also known as "Mad Mission" in the US) is a 1982 Hong Kong action-comedy film directed by Eric Tsang, starring Sam Hui and Karl Maka.

When a suave burglar King Kong (Hui) makes off with diamonds and comes under the investigation of multiple parties, the US pair detective Albert Au a.k.a. Kodojak (Maka) with the Hong Kong inspector Nancy Ho (Sylvia Chang) to recover the diamonds. Things complicate when the jewel thief "White Glove" becomes involved, and King Kong eventually decides to amend for his old ways and help the team recover the diamonds.

Compare Winner Takes All, a similar screwball action-comedy released by Shaw Brothers the very same year.

This film provides examples Of

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Not so much the police computer in Aces Go Places 3. It only needs the right input, read, it has to be asked the right questions to give out a useful answer. Kodojak learns it the hard way by asking the computer who might have some use for a rope (lots of people appear on the screens) or who might want diamonds (lots of women appear on the screens), for when he asks the computer straight away who stole the Crown Jewels, King Kong's face is plastered all over the screens.
  • All Chinese People Know Kung-Fu: Pretty standard for Hong Kong action cinema, but interestingly mostly averted in the Aces Go Places series. Of the lead trio, Nancy Ho is the only one who makes use of martial arts, partly because she's a cop, partly because that's more efficient than spending time getting her gun out from under her skirt.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • King Kong's harpoon gun. Sure, it made for some epic sequences, but the fact that it must be assembled before use and that it requires it to be present at the location before hand meant that it was only used only during those two aforementioned sequences.
    • Inspector Ho drawing her gun from under her skirt is sexy but takes an eternity. She tries to emphasize the "awesome" side, but she's still criticized for drawing too slowly.
  • Berserk Button: Pretty much all the characters have one of some sort.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The diamonds King Kong steals in the beginning: The theft drives the American government and the Italian Mafia after King Kong, and thus, forms the basis for the entire story.
  • Combining Mecha: Aces Go Places 2. The killbot that was sent to eliminate King Kong with weapons like exploding rocket fists transforms from two remote-controlled helicopters and a third, larger aerial vehicle. It'd be a nice addition to King Kong's toy robot collection, weren't it out to kill him.
  • Cool Bike: The enduro from Aces Go Places 3. Not only does it have some cool bodywork, but it even valmorphanizes into a jetski.
  • Cool Car: All those vehicles armed to the teeth. Also, sort of, those wacky kit cars based on VW Beetles.
    • The Alleged Car: Kodojak hints at the VW kit car being all looks and lacking power in the first film.
    • From today's point of view, the BMW 2002s wrecked in the same movie would qualify as cool cars.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • King Kong, especially in the first film. Beyond the gear that he carries onto the roof of the building from which he launches his caper (including a harpoon), he has an enduro motorcycle stashed away in a supply room in the building he broke into — and an ultra-lightweight aircraft hidden in a construction tent.
    • After White Glove manages to cause King Kong and Kodojak's kit car to crash, King Kong just happens to have a case with six remote-controlled cars with bombs buried next to the street right there.
    • In the sequel, when King Kong and Kodojak end up in the dry dock facing the kill bot, King Kong carries a suitcase full of various little weaponized robots which take on the big one.
  • Creator Cameo: Hong Kong cinema legend Tsui Hark keeps appearing in the films and actually made the third one, but his cameo in Aces Go Places 2 takes the cake: He plays a man who claims to be an FBI Agent, complete with an FBI label inside his jacket. For a moment, King Kong feels safe with him around, especially after he announced police sirens to be heard. The sound of sirens does appear, but they belong to an ambulance that comes to take the "FBI Agent" back to the asylum. Better yet: Until the end of the movie, only King Kong and Kodojak know that he's a nuthouse escapee while everyone else including police and military not only believe but rely on him being an FBI Agent and bomb specialist.
  • Deadly Remote Control Toy: The protagonists use a controller capable of controlling multiple toy cars at once to blow up enemies.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Kodojak. A gang of bank robbers try to make him their spontaneous getaway driver (never mind that he's a cop) which ends very quickly in a crash. So it's up to King Kong to do most of the driving.
  • Dub Name Change: The German dub changed the names of most main characters. For example:
    • King Kong simply becomes Sam.
    • Gigolo Joe becomes Charlie.
    • Baldy/Kodojak is slightly changed to Kodijak.
    • Inspector Ho becomes Ha Tung.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Mostly averted, considering the amount of cars wrecked in the films, but justified in the case of the golden Rolls-Royce in Aces Go Places 3, considering the amount of missiles it carries.
  • Excuse Me, Coming Through!: A few chase scenes, but most notably the opener, where King Kong rides a motorbike through a crowded mall.
  • Faking the Dead: After Kodojak gets shot. he does exactly this. When King Kong finds out, he is not amused.
  • Fanservice: Nancy Ho conceals her gun under her skirt.
  • FBI Agent: Tsui Hark's Cameo side character in Aces Go Places 2 pretends to be one. In Hongkong, no less. (Then again, Kodojak is technically an American cop in Hongkong.) He turns out to have escaped from a nuthouse.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: The kit car from Aces Go Places 3 has a rear-mounted flamethrower. Truth be told, it doesn't do any more on the Rolls-Royce it fights than covering it in soot.
  • Frank's 2000 Inch TV: The computer in Aces Go Places 3 with its wall of screens.
  • Gag Dub: The German dub takes the humour in the first three movies a lot farther than the original or the English dub. Then again, the Aces Go Places movies were dubbed in a time inspired by The Persuaders! or Bud Spencer & Terence Hill films when such dubs were all the rage.
  • Gentleman Thief: During the diamond heist in the movie's opening, King Kong escapes via a bungee cord and breaks through an apartment window. He apologizes for breaking in, explains that the elevator is out of service and bids the residents farewell before leaving.
  • Gratuitous English: One of the Cantonese inspectors begins his statements in English until the British inspector reminds him that everyone in the room can understand Cantonese.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After falling head over heels for Ho's younger sister, King Kong immediately agrees to help Ho and Kodojak recover the diamonds.
  • Jerkass: King Kong treated more or less everyone like this until his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Lie Detector: The police of Hong Kong has got one which Kodojak connects King Kong to. Needless to say that King Kong has his share of fun with the apparatus: When asked about Kodojak's hair color, King Kong says that it's none because he's bald. The detector identifies this as the truth, somewhat to Kodojak's displeasement.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: How King Kong inadvertently reveals the location of the diamonds to White Glove. And how, in the second film, he is convinced to assist another woman (who is after the jewels, too) in a bank robbery.
  • The Mafia:
    • The Italian Mafia hire White Glove to recover the diamonds.
    • One of the girls onto whose backside Gigolo Joe had the coordinates tattooed is the sister of a local gangster boss. He isn't pleased to say the least when he finds out that King Kong and Kodojak took pictures of her bare buttocks.
  • Modesty Towel:
    • Played with in Aces Go Places 2. King Kong dresses up for his new Love Interest, just to see her fresh out of the shower and wearing nothing but a Modesty Towel. He expects things to become cozier, goes back to his room, undresses and returns in a towel himself. She, however, is dressed now and asks him if it isn't a bit cold without clothes on.
    • The ballet dancer in the first film ends up standing in a semi-trailer she thought was her dressing-room in nothing but a Modesty Towel after King Kong and Kodojak managed to get a picture of her butt.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed
    • Aces Go Places 2: The man who orders Filthy Harry to kill King Kong and Kodojak has quite some resemblance to Henry Kissinger.
    • Aces Go Places 3: It seems like King Kong is hired by Queen Elizabeth II and Sir James Bond 007 (implying that Bond is real as opposed to being a fictional character) to "steal back" the Crown Jewels. The two turn out to be a mother-and-son team of criminal impostors.
  • Odd Couple: Master jewel thief King Kong and bumbling cop Kodojak.
  • Police Are Useless
    • The best example would be Aces Go Places 3: Inspector Ho puts the building in which the Crown Jewels are stored under heaviy police surveillance to keep anyone (read, King Kong) from stealing the Crown Jewels and has Kodojak take his buddy to dinner to have an eye or two on him. What does King Kong do? Steal the Crown Jewels.
    • One has to wonder what exactly made Kodojak such a "renowned" police detective.
    • Of the main cast, Nancy Ho is a policewoman on her hometurf. But although she outclasses Kodojak in competence (which isn't exactly difficult), she has precious little involvement in the actual crime-fighting.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: The 3rd film travels between Hong Kong and Venice, while the 4th film goes to New Zealand.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Some Leg: Nancy Ho has to reveal almost all of her right leg to retrieve her gun, so why not use this to distract some baddies before holding them at gunpoint?
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The Aces Go Places films love things going kablooey, be it missiles shot from kit cars or robots, be it hand grenades dropped through a pipe in a car onto the street (as if they couldn't be thrown), or be it time bombs strapped to King Kong and Kodojak.
  • Super Drowning Skills: When White Glove's car barrels over the pier, White Glove shouts for someone to save him, as he can't swim.
  • Tastes Like Feet: The steak Kodojak has at Lieutenant Ho's place "tastes like cottonwood."
    • The German Gag Dub is even more elaborate: It tastes and smells like buffalo hoof and is as juicy as a piece of carpet.
  • The Teaser: Subverted in that the opening has very much to do with the plot of the movie.
  • Time Bomb:
    • Once White Glove finds out that King Kong knows where the diamonds are, he immediately calls one of his henchmen to recover the bomb and ensure his safety. Since it's a Time Bomb, the henchmen throws the bomb out the window, and it lands on the roof of the van White Glove is in. Naturally, the van is destroyed in the explosion.
    • King Kong and Kodojak have time bombs strapped to them in Aces Go Places 2.
  • Unusual User Interface: The computer in Aces Go Places 3 has got speech recognition as its only input device and a wall of screens as its output device.
  • Weaponized Car:
    • Aces Go Places 3, a James Bond parody, did the cars-exchanging-various-kinds-of-missiles schtick long before Die Another Day with a VW-based kit "car" and a Rolls-Royce.
    • The VW-based car in the first movie has got a pipe between the front seats through which hand grenades can be dropped.
    • The same movie has White Glove's Trans Am and the BMWs of his mooks in a battle against half a dozen remote-controlled cars with bombs driven by King Kong.
  • Wire Dilemma: The bombs on King Kong and Kodojak in Aces Go Places 2 have ribbon wires. Now try to cut any one wire. The "FBI guy" (actually escaped asylum inmate, but only King Kong and Kodojak know that, and even they believed him first) has a simple solution: Cut the whole ribbon with a big honking pair of scissors and throw the bomb away before it goes off.
  • Woman Scorned: Nancy Ho in Aces Go Places 3 after she finds out that her personal spy has spotted Kodojak at a restaurant with another woman. She leaves her post, gets to the restaurant and socks her hubby in the face so hard that he almost drowns in his tomato soup (a first for the medics who treat him afterwards). Now it comes: This was all part of King Kong's plan to distract Kodojak.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Kodojak slaps Inspector Ho after she slaps him, and he manages to draw another cop's gun on her before she manages to draw hers (remember that she has to pull up her skirt to get her gun). It's shortly after then when she learns that he is that White Glove expert from New York.
  • You and What Army?: After effortlessly beating up a mook, the mook declares that he'll "get his guys" after him. King Kong replies "your guys?", chases the mook down the stairs, only to find a bunch of the mook's buddies down there, and runs back up the stairs.