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 day’s shooting began. The disjointed story veers erratically between comedy and drama, but the comedy is nearly painful to endure at times and the drama doesn’t 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 it’s 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 Lau and Anita Mui
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.
Natalis Chan, Billy Lau, Shing Fui On and Sammo
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.
Charlie Cho, Alan Tam, Kirk Wong, Jimmy Lee and Anita
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 don’t 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.
Max Mok, Austin Wai, Miu Kiu-wai, Ben Lam, Wilson Lam, Frankie Chan
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.
Geishas and Eric Tsang
My rating for this film: 4.0


DVD Information:

Distributed by Universe

The transfer  is excellent - very good shape for a film from the 1980's.

Letterboxed

Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks 

Subtitles:  Chinese , English, Bahasa Indonesia

8 Chapters

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.