My Lucky Stars (1985)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2005-10-22
Summary: Could have been a contender
This is an action comedy with good but not really outstanding fight scenes and humorous scenes that are occasionally funny. Since the cast list is stocked top to bottom with veteran comic actors who are also accomplished scene stealers it is surprising that it works as well as it does. There are at least two outstanding sequences. The first is the initial chase through the Japanese amusement park with Hong Kong police officers Jackie Chan and Yeun Biao trying to capture two crooked cops who have stolen millions in diamonds and fled to Tokyo. The stunts include a hurried descent from the top of a Ferris wheel by both Chan and Biao and a well staged fight between them and a gang of sword wielding Ninjas—the Ninjas appear out of nowhere in the middle of the park, as is their custom. The final scene also takes place in the amusement park where the Lucky Stars and Sibelle Hu, their newly acquired comrade and foil, unite with former friend Chan to release Biao—he had been kidnapped by the Ninjas—and capture the dishonest cops.

Between the extended action scenes, the Lucky Stars are reunited and convinced/forced/tricked into helping Jackie in Tokyo. Their introduction into the movie and the motivation of their presence is done very simply and economically. Chan tells his superior (using the 1985 HK equivalent of a Bat Phone) that the bad guy will recognize HK cops so he needs his old friends from the orphanage. Sammo Hung is sprung from prison by a police superintendent and told to gather the old gang. Since they are currently engaged in such high risk pursuits as robbing jewelry stores using explosives and armed robbery Sammo doesn’t have to try that hard to convince them to sign on—until they discover they will be working for the police. As a point of thieves’ honor they are determined to stay on their chosen side of the law. But when Sibelle Hu is introduced as the police officer assigned to keep an eye on them the path of righteousness looks a lot better—or at least prettier.

The story also shifts gears here with an almost audible thunk as it goes from a well put together action picture with a thick overlay of comedy to a very juvenile sex farce that is neither sexy nor funny. Sibelle Hu puts up with the mugging, carousing and constant playing to the camera of her co-stars but it is almost a relief when her character lands a solid kick to Sammo’s chest in an attempt to restore some type of narrative order to what has become a loosely connected series of scenes involving grown men acting as if they were adolescents just discovering the difference between boys and girls. There are a couple of decent scenes during the otherwise interminable wait between the action pieces. One is when the Lucky Stars decide which of them gets to sleep in a bed in a Tokyo hotel the night they arrive. We expect a fight—or at least a shoving match—to break out when one of them says “Lets settle this the way we used to in the orphanage.” Instead they sing a silly song about being hit with a chamber pot which ends with a game of rock, scissors, paper, with Sammo, the winner, getting the bed. The other is in a restaurant when the guys try to order breakfast from a Japanese waiter who doesn’t speak Cantonese. It is a very well paced and acted scene with a funny ending with each of the Sammo-less Stars given the chance to mime the contents of the meal they want. Most of the rest of it, though, especially when the Stars act like masked robbers so that each of them can be “captured” and tied up with Sibelle, is very much in the “is it over yet” category.

Jackie is Jackie during the action sequences using most of his patented moves—slipping under, over or just beyond sword thrusts, jumping on, under and over tables and forcing even the most seasoned Ninja killers to pause while he does a double take before hitting them with an elbow. He is full of energy and guile. Sammo does his Fat Dragon act to perfection with whirling kicks and quick punches. Yeun Biao seems to be trying to make up for his very limited screen time by filing the time and space he has with terrific martial arts moves. He is given a lot to do in a few minutes and does it beautifully, showing his superb athleticism, timing and grace. The introduction of Japanese body builder Michiko Nishiwaki during the ultimate stand off is a touch of genius. She goes from crooked croupier to practiced killer simply by doffing her robes. She hits quite a few poses that are more appropriate on stage at a contest than in hand to hand combat but they are structurally the same as Sibelle’s dropping into the basic two fists cocked Kung Fu stance between flurries of action. The fight between the two of them is the only part of the action that was disappointing—a chance for a brutal showdown was missed, although it did end with in a funny way and with a terrific fall by Michiko.

Not really recommended.
Reviewer Score: 5