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My Lucky Stars - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Fuk sing go jiu

Hong Kong 1985

Action, Comedy

Sammo Hung

Sammo Hung
Eric Tsang
Richard Ng
Charlie Ching
Stanley Fung
Sibelle Hu
Yuen Biao
Michiko Nishiwaka
Lam Ching-Ying
Dick Wei
Bolo Yeung
James Tien Chun
Walter Tso

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My Lucky Stars

Story: Muscles (Jackie Chan) is chasing after a secret organisation that has fled to Japan. However, something goes wrong during the chase and Muscles' partner (Yuen Biao) is kidnapped. Muscles turns to his captain and wants the help of his former friends who are all criminals these days. Thus, Fastbuck (Sammo Hung) is released from prison and starts working on finding his friends (Eric Tsang, Richard Ng, Charlie Ching, Stanley Fung). Finally being together again the five buddies are set up by the captain which is why they are wanted for robbing a bank. The only chance they have to get a clean slate again is taking down the crime syndicate in Japan. Female police officer Woo (Sibelle Hu) is assigned to the team as well, but her presence is such a distraction for the five friends that the actual mission is oftentimes falling by the wayside. Eventually arriving in Japan it turns out that Muscles and the five buddies have been at odds with each other for a long time already, but Fastbuck and his friends still won't leave Muscles hanging.

Review: "My Lucky Stars" is one of those Lunar New Year movies that aim at entertaining the audience with a lot of humor. Next to that there is a lot of action and some fantastic stunts, too. Strangely enough, the comedic scenes are less awkward - despite pubescent elements - than what you get to see from Hong Kong comedies nowadays. In fact, they are even amusing at times. Yet, the humor still is just some embellishment you rather would have done without. That you can easily live with it nonetheless just proves once more how much the bar has been lowered in Hong Kong comedies the last few years. Still, for the action and some nice kung fu fights alone you should give "My Lucky Stars" a chance. In the end, there is just the right kind of 80s feel to this movie.

My Lucky Stars - Film Screenshot 11

"My Lucky Stars" is the second part in the Lucky Star trilogy after "Winners und Sinners", although it actually is a movie standing on its own. Moreover, you shouldn't believe what marketing experts present you with at times. Jackie Chan has merely an extended cameo appearance in this movie. The protagonists are Fastbuck, played by Sammo Hung ("SPL"), and his four on-screen buddies. Sammo is also directing the movie and clearly enjoys making his desperate characters approach the police woman, played by Sibelle Hu, in numerous absurd and parodistic scenes. The vibrant rivality among the five friends is brought across quite well and at times you even have to smile about all the nonsense. Yet, those scenes also tear the movie apart, even to such a degree that you find yourself having no interest at all in what the film is actually about in the end.

My Lucky Stars - Film Screenshot 12

Eric Tsang ("Aberdeen"), who also plays one of the five buddies, has written the screenplay and doesn't exactly cover himself with glory. What the movie is about is soon forgotten and one mindless scene follows the next. Between those scenes there is no cement that would bond things. But the introduction and ending are displaying a lot of action. The stunt featuring a jumping car is as awesome as Jackie Chan's breakneck climbing display at an amusement park. However, what's especially nice is that Sammo Hung attached importance to some sophisticated fight scenes. Yuen Biao was one of the fight choreographers and gives the fights a nice rhythm as well as fitting sound effects which make you think you are in a 70s kung fu flick.

Towards the end you even believe to be in a Jackie Chan movie since he dishes out quite a lot of kicks and punches. But Sammo Hung is allowed to show some nice moves as well. The kung fu work is great to look at and is topped by hard stunts that will make you cringe in pain by merely watching. The sets are thought through well enough and the garish 80s flair adds a lot to the movie's high pacing. In other words, "My Lucky Stars" is fully convincing on an action level and surprises with a few extraordinary characters like Michiko Nishikawa, a Japanese femaly bodybuilder, who plays one of the villains. Apart from that the characters remain very shallow and replacable, of course. If the middle part had been cut out of the movie, this could have been a good movie, though.

My Lucky Stars - Film Screenshot 13

But most of the time director Sammo Hung spends implementing half-witted humor into his film. The buddy feeling of the odd friends is coming across quite well and as already stated you will find yourself laughing every now and then, but it's a guilty pleasure, because seldomly the humor works on a level that you actually should be laughing. Accordingly, you will be conflicted at the end. The unnecessary comedic insertions, which sadly amount to the biggest part of the movie, tear the movie apart and are only mildly entertaining. But when "My Lucky Stars" goes into action mode and delivers kung fu and stunts it can be a fun ride. There is just something about those 80s kung fu comedies that's fascinating and if you like movies like "City Hunter" you will be able to appreciate this flick as well.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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