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Monday, 21 May 2018

Retro Review: Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars (1985) #hongkongcinema

Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars (Ha Jat Fuk Sing)
Cast: Sammo Hung,  Richard Ng, Eric Tsang, Stanley Fung, Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Sibelle Hu, Andy Lau 
Genre: Martial Arts Action Comedy
Hong Kong Box Office Gross: over $28 million

Plot: The crime fighters from My Lucky Stars return in full force to stop a group of Thai assassins who are on their way to kill a Hong Kong drug lord 

'How I Wonder What You Are'

This third entry in the Lucky Stars action comedy franchise sees the return of Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao as well as the remaining band of the Lucky Stars  with the help of so-called leader, Muscles (Jackie Chan), as they head off to Thailand in order to stop a ruthless gang. Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars didn't make a huge impression on me, the first time I saw it - that and it recouped less at the Hong Kong box office, but as I revisited it again, it definitely was a lot more fun, just as action-packed and amusing as I'd anticipated to be. As well as it was a film that I enjoyed a great deal more than I originally did. Much like with the other movies in the franchise, despite the appearance of Jackie Chan on the DVD cover and movie poster, this is not a Jackie Chan movie that they have been touted as. 

The Lucky Stars crew are up to their juvenile and puerile antics as they are assigned to protect and look after a female suspect, who the bad guys are after. It isn't long until they grope her, as well as other women whilst out in the resort, ogling and taking a peek at Rosamund Kwan in her underwear. 

Joining Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao is Andy Lau and though he fares well in other action and action thriller films, here, it has to be said that he never truly convinces and he doesn't really add or offer anything new to the team. I could have done with just Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao as a duo and I'd like to have seen a bit more of Sibelle Hu, who was great in My Lucky Stars, but in this one, she is pretty much sidelined in this flick. Which is one of my other beefs with this movie. & I suppose a lot of that kind of explains Andy Lau's appearance in place of Sibelle, but unlike Sibelle, Andy's role was almost inconsequential.

This is pretty much the same movie as My Lucky Stars: more mindless buffoonery and silliness in the comedy stakes, although the action set pieces are a whole lot more entertaining and better. 

(the one on the left looks so much like a man)

My favourite scenes from the film are Sammo and Sibelle Hu individually taking on a group of ladyboys and beating the crap out of them, the Sammo and Richard Norton fight amongst a few. 

There is a groping scene which is similar to the one in My Lucky Stars, where the guys take it in turns to fake an injury and they try and act horny and perverted towards a girl, Miss Wang. There is also a cameo appearance by Michelle Yeoh as a judo instructor who takes on Sammo's Kidstuff during a demonstration. 

The Lucky Stars movies, especially with this third offering is not for everyone, not least so due to the juvenile antics of a bunch of grown men, but hey, this is a comedy; I love comedy films and as it's all for a laugh, I just go along with it. Much like with Animal House, Carry On films and to a lesser extent, the American Pie movies, this is yet another in the line of 'horny, perverted guys' routine that seems to have its own following. The plot isn't worth pondering about and it's not something one should dwell on a great deal, but it's got some really great action scenes, including Sammo taking on Richard Norton by wielding a pair of tennis racquets, and the humour here is one I can still endure. 

Final Verdict:

Groping antics aside, the silly humour will appeal to some like myself and the story held up all the way. As for the action, arguably, this is better than in the previous offering with better and well-choreographed fights and whilst it is considered by many Lucky Stars aficionados and fans as the weakest of the three main movies in the franchise, I do prefer this one to the first film, which didn't do much for me, although Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars is almost on par with that of My Lucky Stars

I enjoyed this one a lot; it was amusing in places, the story was enjoyable and I got into it more as the film went on, performances were really good, comedy was tolerable and the fights were fantastic.

Alas, Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars shone so brightly.



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