Extraordinary Mission is an extraordinarily lush feat of production, presenting an acutely visualized widescreen world, its scenes occurring across a multitude of appealingly rundown locations, vast, nearly abandoned industrial and manufacturing spaces of great width and depth, populated by a small cluster of figures transacting yet one more crime in the chain of crimes necessary to get Golden Triangle heroin into central China.
Xuan Huang plays undercover cop Lin Kai, a former junkie, who infiltrates the Twin Eagle drug cartel run by Thai ringleader, Eagle (Duan Yihong). Lin Kai’s handler, Li Jianguo (Zu Feng) also has history with Eagle. Even when the script by Hong Kong screenwriter Felix Chong (Infernal Affairs) adds another complication, the individual scenes simmer and then detonate in rich settings, whether a jungle shack with rain pinging its roof, tumbledown factories, or sheds and depots, all rusticated cathedrals to how money was made when Hong Kong was a colony.
It’s an object lesson in muscular, unpretentious action filmmaking, working with practical explosions and car chases and a motorcycle flying from rooftop to rooftop, as much as with painted-in CGI.
Ray Pride, China Film Insider