The Fortune Code
Though this movie has a large and impressive cast,
a dreadful script sinks them faster than a heavy stone in a deep well.
Amazingly, the so-called script is credited to Wong Jing and Barry Wong
but it has all the earmarks of a script by committee hashed over some
fifteen minutes before each days shooting began. The disjointed story
veers erratically between comedy and drama, but the comedy is nearly painful
to endure at times and the drama doesnt have a real emotion anywhere in
the neighborhood. Fortunately, they do have a fight every fifteen minutes
or so and though far from topnotch they are certainly a relief from the
rest of the film. But again what a cast!
The year is 1942 and its wartime in China.
Andy Lau is a prisoner of war in a Japanese camp run by Jimmy Lee. He has
to escape in order to marry Anita Mui and his bunkmates Kent Cheng, Billy
Lau, Natalis Chan, Shing Fui On create a disturbance that allows Andy
to fight his way out.
Andy meets the very lovely Anita and is attacked
for no particular reason by Sammo Hung. After the fight is over, Sammo
tells Andy that both he and Anita are spies and that the country needs
Andy to help with a vital mission. Andy reluctantly agrees and the three
of them go to get spy number four Alan Tam at a casino and after another
big fight the mission begins.
Apparently $500 billion is stashed in Switzerland
banks and only one man the God of Fortune has the code to get the money
out. Unfortunately, he has been taken prisoner by the Japanese and is now
in the same camp that Andy just escaped from but no one knows what he looks
like. So Andy and Alan return to the camp and are told by Sammo that
Anita a master of disguise will join them. In one of the rare amusing
bits, the two of them conclude that Anita has disguised herself as Shing
Fui On and Andy has to kiss him to find out.
Also, just captured are a group of Flying Tigers
Eric Tsang, Ben Lam, Max Mok, Wilson Lam, Miu Kiu-wai and Austin Wai.
The Japanese have brought them to the camp in order to breed with Japanese
Geishas (now how stupid is that?) but they are all virgins and dont
want to be deflowered (even stupider!) except for Eric of course! They
all have to fend off two Chinese collaborators Charlie Cho and Kirk Wong
and try and locate the God of Fortune. Throw into this the appearance
near the end of two Japanese generals - Frankie Chan and Gordon Lui
and you have a pretty good cast! If only they had a story.
Perhaps there was a lot of inside humor that I
missed for example Kent Cheng (who also directed) becomes a blubbering
idiot after being beaten by the Japanese and I thought this would lead
somewhere - was he the God of Fortune? but no I think it was simply
a parody of his character in two of his other films Why Me and
Beloved Son of God. So maybe there was a lot more of this - but I
clearly didn't get it.
My rating for this film: 4.0
Distributed by Universe
The transfer is excellent - very good
shape for a film from the 1980's.
Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks
Subtitles: Chinese , English, Bahasa
It includes it's own trailer plus Shanghai,
Shanghai, Lucky Stars Go Places and Owl and Bumbo.
The sub-titles are easy to read.
Star Files - Andy Lau, Anita Mui, Kent Cheng
and Sammo Hung.