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Film / Cop on a Mission

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How far would you go for power?

Cop on a Mission is a 2001 Hong Kong crime thriller starring Daniel Wu.

Mike (Wu) is a trigger-happy cop suspended during a duty for pulling his gun in public and killing two robbers. Temporarily out of a job, Mike ends up stumbling into a deal between triad Boss, Yum King Tin, and fell in love with Boss Yum's wife Pauline. One incident leads to another and eventually Mike ends up working on both sides, as a cop and as an informant for Boss Yum, and as he starts climbing in the ranks of the mob, Mike starts becoming greedy for more...

This film contains examples of:

  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Mike, after ditching the police force and rising through the ranks from becoming Boss Yum’s informant.
  • Buried Alive: Mike’s eventual fate.
  • Contrived Clumsiness: Pauline "accidentally" spilling her champagne on her scarf and dress, and quickly nipping off to a storeroom to change. She’s obviously not very comfortable in her heavy scarf and tight evening dress during the dinner date, and in the next scene she seems a lot comfier in a casual blouse.
  • Dirty Cop: Mike, in the second half of the movie, quickly turns corrupt once he earns an advantage into becoming Boss Yum’s informant. Including getting rid of his colleagues, murdering a witness, double-crossing his former partner to death, and even trying to usurp Boss Yum to win over Pauline for himself.
  • Downer Ending: Mike’s final scene is him being buried by Boss Yum’s minions.
  • Drunk with Power: Mike, after earning the good graces of Boss Yum and deciding to eliminate everyone who poses a threat to him rising to power, may it be triad or police.
  • Dynamic Entry: When Mike and Anya gets caught by drug dealers during a stakeout, Tin and the rest of redshirts backing up Mike comes to the rescue by ramming a truck through the dealer’s hideout, knocking over entire crates of drugs and sending the dealers scattering.
  • Fanservice: The movie doesn’t shy from showing the audience a lengthy, 3-minute scene of Pauline changing her clothes.
  • Fur and Loathing: Pauline in her first scene is shown wearing a massive fur scarf, large enough to cover every centimetre of her neck, shoulders, and most of her upper body.
  • How We Got Here: The movie opens with Mike being Bound and Gagged, and in a pit filling with dirt. Cue credits, and the rest of the movie details how Mike ends up in the pit in the first place. He never gets out.
  • Masturbation Means Sexual Frustration: After the night stake-out where Mike unintentionally saw Pauline undressing in a storeroom, the subsequent Shower Scene shows him masturbating in the shower while fantasizing about Pauline wearing only her lingerie.
  • Mexican Standoff: Nearly happens when Mike and a drug dealer points their guns at each other in the middle of a shootout. But it lasts for two seconds until Ji intervenes by shooting Mike’s opponent.
  • The Peeping Tom: Mike is on a stakeout… in the same storeroom that Pauline happens to be using as an impromptu changing room after her wine accident. With her assuming to be alone and changing into another set of dress, Mike hiding in a closet (and the audience) gets an eyeful.
  • Razor Floss: Mike kills his Superintendent in the police precinct’s locker room using a fine, throat-strangulating wire.
  • Shout-Out: The dinner scene where Boss Yum suddenly whacks one of his subordinates who’s been selling him out behind his back, using a beer bottle, to death is a reference to The Untouchables. With a bottle instead of a baseball bat.
  • Slashed Throat:
    • Mike deals with the robber in the Action Prologue using this method. Note that the shootout takes place in a diner, and he’s using a bread knife to perform this kill.
    • Sup receives this fate much later in the movie.
  • Tattooed Crook: Lung, a fellow triad subordinate, who have tattoos of wings on his shoulder, visible when Mike betrays and kills him.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: And the police officer who decides to join their ranks, only to screw up his own life afterwards from becoming too greedy for power.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene:
    • Mike in the police precinct’s locker room, having a conversation with his Superintendent while clad only in his towel.
    • Later on, Mike in a sauna and a swimming pool. Being played by Mr. Fanservice Daniel Wu he provides quite an eyeful for the lady audiences.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Ultimately, the entire movie is pretty much just a lengthy flashback of Mike reflecting on everything he did wrong just as he’s being buried alive by mobsters.