From Riches to Rags (1980)
Reviewed by: cpardo on 2006-05-15
Summary: Uneven John Woo comedy--could've been better
Ying is down and out everyday man living with his grandma and with a dead end job at a milk company. He yearns to make it big and win the heart of movie star Jo Jo. After having their fortune told, he and his buddy Fatso buy a lottery ticket, which turns out to be the winning one. Now millionaires, a recurring stomach ailment is diagnosed to be Cancer, and Ying feels there's no point in living. When he gives money to another depressed man, the man decides to help him out and hire some killers to bump him off. Then Ying finds out he does not have cancer, and has to run for his life from the hired killers...

Another Ricky Hui comedy by John Woo. Actually this movie is enjoyable at first as it has decent comic scenes, some enhanced by sped up camera work. So it's very silly and lighthearted. When the killers attack, the movie takes an abrupt dark black comedy turn, mixing comedy with suspense which doesn't quite work. The final scenes taking place in a insane asylum are even darker, with Johnny Koo's girlfriend turning out to be a psychotic killer. Suddenly the humor takes on a bizarre edge, with all the mental patients, the killers and Ricky and Johnny are meshed together into a chaotic mess. And it tended to go on too long as well. Is there a statement here that Woo is trying to make? Koo says: "we'll either die or go crazy--all because of money." I said it before though, John Woo's comedies are unlike any other HK films I've seen. They are interesting, but don't really work as a cohesive whole. But it does make more sense and is more watchable in the DVD version. Ricky is good in the film and Koo is okay although kind of annoying and not really fun to watch like Hui. A mixed review but I do agree that there many funny moments and scenes and themes Woo would present better in his action dramas.
Reviewer Score: 6