The Wickedness in Poverty (1979)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2002-06-09
Summary: Stupid rather than funny
This was a big letdown. I rented it on the strength of the cast, not even knowing the genre. Unfortunately, the film is in a subgenre which I detest. I call them "Sting comedies" and, judging by how many are produced, they must be very popular in HK. They feature people cooperating to trick other people out of their money, and are always played for maximum stupidity. Most of these films are like Stephen Chow at his very worst, and they hit all the wrong notes for me. My feeling is that you'd have to be a native Hongkie to enjoy these movies, and a fairly unfussy viewer at that.

Among this sub-genre, I'd rate WIP at the lower end. This is despite much that the film has going for it. First-rate cast, A-grade production values, and a fine score as usual from Frankie Chan. The stupidity starts shortly after the start and never stops. But very few of the antics are even slightly funny and, more importantly, most of the cast appear to be forcing themselves to ham it up, rather than appearing to be genuinely having fun.

The few bright spots are provided by cameos, and they aren't enough. I could only recommend this one for keen Alan Tang fans.
Reviewer Score: 2