Director: Sammo Hung
Writer: Barry Wong
Producer: Leonard Ho
Cast: Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Sibelle Hu, Jackie Chan, Richard Ng, Eric Tsang, Andy Lau, Michiko Nishikawa, Charlie Ching, Stanley Fung Shui-Fan, Lam Ching-Ying, Bolo Yeung
Running Time: 84/99 min.
How many people, like myself, saw the Arena Home Video release of this movie in the martial arts section at Media Play and shelled out eight hundred and ninety-nine of their hard-earned cents (plus sales tax where applicable) for it, expecting to see a poorly-dubbed but still watchable ’80s Chan flick superior to Lo Wei’s excrement but second-rate compared to, say, Police Story? A show of hands, please? Ah…I thought so.
Well, as anyone with half the intellect of a furry little forest critter burrowing in its own feces knows, nine bucks isn’t a great deal to pay for a video such as this. However, it would have been nice and fair and decent and honest and ethical and TOTALLY unAmerican if this release had been packaged for what it is…a Samo Hung film which co-stars Jackie Chan…rather than what thousands of action-starved Johnny-come-lately peasants like me were looking for…a Jackie Chan movie that co-stars Samo Hung. There’s about 15 minutes of Jackie and 70 minutes of Samo here. Had I known that beforehand, I would have bought it anyway since Samo kicks ass, but still…15 minutes of Jackie is 15 minutes of Jackie.
Three action scenes in this movie…short one in beginning, short one in middle, long one at end. Most of the comedy scenes are just filler…some, like the Japanese restaurant bit, while not exactly being hysterical, at least work. Others, like the quasi-epic phony burglary scene, do NOT work and will make you want to track down the parties responsible for conceiving such a thing with six rabid bloodhounds and a meat cleaver in each hand (“I’m allergic to rope”?!?).
Remember, though…the longer you suffer, the greater your reward. Sit through the lame frat house humor and you’ll be treated to a really keen funhouse seqence where lots of people sustain grievous bodily injuries. If you didn’t laugh at the plight of five petty crooks torn between copping a feel off a “Daddy got me here, pretty face will get me the rest of the way” pseudo-actress at every opportunity and simply breaking down and gang-banging her, surely you won’t fail to see the humor in watching them administer concussions and spinal damage to a crew of underpaid stuntmen with families to support pretending to be bad guys.
You know, I bet some TV executive looking to capitalize on the popularity of Walker: Texas Ranger had a whipping boy round up all the Jackie Chan movies he could find in hopes of finding bits to steal and drop into a new martial arts based show…and when they saw this, they said: “Hot damn…I don’t have to look for this shit myself…I’ll just hire that guy! Smithers (pointing at TV screen)! Bring me the fat man!” Thus, Martial Law was born.
Oh yeah, Yuen Biao is in this movie too, but I find it kind of odd that he is supposed to be a brother to Jackie and Samo but he gets stuck with a weenie underdog role and has maybe seven minutes of screen time. Oh well…with eight key roles in this puppy, I guess SOMEONE had to be shafted.
Now, with all of that having been said, go to Media Play right now and buy the fucker unless A) you have done so already or B) you can’t afford the $8.99 because you’ve got two kids in college and your car insurance company is hitting you with a late fee since you only paid them ten days in advance and it takes them two weeks to process your check and register the payment. Believe me, I hear you…just like the political prisoner played by Samo Hung, who gets double-crossed and screwed over by the fuckin’ pigs (who else), you’re being hassled by the man (whatever the fuck that means).
Numskull’s Rating: 7/10
If there was any justice in this world, Samo (Or is it Sammo? Who the hell cares?) Hung should’ve gotten top billing, but hey, Jackies the gee whiz BIG shot these days. My favorite character in this was that mustached, full-blown wackoloon guy who cast “spells” on people…”Faint NOW! Faint NOW! Be still NOW!! LAY AN EGG!!” I’m pretty sure he was one of those crazys who escaped out of the hole in the wall at the end of “‘Coocoo’s Nest”.
Dan-O’s Rating: 7/10
By Vic Nguyen
This film was pretty good. It had action, and plenty of good laughs. Jackie plays Muscles, a Hong Kong cop traveling to Japan to bust an ex cop. Along with his partner [Yuen Biao], they follow him to an amusement park, and after an excellant fight with ninjas, they kidnap Yuen Biao. Jackie then enlists the help of his former orphanage gang to help rescue his partner, because he says the kidnappers will recognize all Hong Kong cops. Jackies out of the picture and the camera turns focus to Sammo and crew. This is not a bad thing, because the sequences involving Sammo’s horny crew are hilarious. After that, Sammo and crew re-unite with Jackie for a final assault to rescue Yuen Biao and to catch all the bad guys. Even though Jackies part in this film is limited to an extended cameo, the orphanage brothers really steal the show. Sammo really proves he is capable of directing films in all sorts of genres. Highly Recommended.
Vic Nguyen’s Rating: 8/10
My Lucky Stars has to be one of my favorite Samo Hung films. Yeah, it has rather grade school humour and some very stupid scenes, but so what? I think the crude humour was funny as hell. You gotta love a movie in which two of the heroes are a retarded guy and a guy who thinks he has ESP (the scene where he stares at a guy coming after him and says “Don’t hit me, don’t hit me” is priceless). Not to mention the fight scene with Jackie Chan inside of the evil funhouse. If you ask me, it is not only Jackie Chan’s best fight, it has to be my #2 favorite fight ever (I’m still undecided about #1). The fight is almost surreal and looks really cool.
If your still not convinced that this is a really kick ass movie, you gotta love the scene where the retarded guy shows a Japanese waiter his member in order to get a sausage, but instead is brought back a mushroom. Be sure to see the DVD though, the dubbed VHS suck! This is a very underated film and I can’t recommend it enough.
Yate’s Rating: 9.5/10
Here goes: Picture a 14 year old boy — with A.D.D. — and an unusual amount of hormones. Now age him about 15 more years, multiply by 5, and you have the pseudo-heroes of this movie. Samo Hung is the head of a gang of ex-orphans, turned con men, thieves, crazies, etc. They are asked to go undercover to help Jackie rescue Yuen Biao from bad guys. As far as I can figure, they are in the movie to slow it down. The scene where they dress up as Ninjas so they can terrorize the girl in the picture and take turns getting tied up to her is so painful, I wished I could have put Ambisol on it (or do I mean Preparation H?). When a guy is turned on, his brain shrinks to the size of a walnut (in direct disproportion to the part of him that’s growing) – and these rocket scientists still manage to put one over on this dimwitted female, who’s dumber than dumb. Who put her in charge of the mission? The Three Stooges? The only time the movie is at all good is the beginning, with Jackie and Yuen and the end fight (again with Jackie), this time in an amusement park Horror House. What a waste of Yuen Biao! I figure he got about 7 minutes of screen time, most of it in a car! I have to admit, I laughed out loud a few times and I love Samo, which is the only reason it got as many stars as it did.
Ro’s Rating: 4/10 (add 3 stars if you’re a 14 year old boy)
I am creating a new category called “Jackie Chan Charity Films.” That’s where this movie belongs. I haven’t seen a superstar in such a superfluous and tacked on role since Eddie Murphy sold his soul for “Best Defense.” It’s already known that JC did this film to keep visibility while working on other films, and to help Sammo. This film needed him. His contribution includes a great car chase at the beginning, an original piece in a fun house at the end, and a fight in the middle of the movie (which showcases the most overused JC cliche, the “duck in the nick of time as a sharp blade cuts off a lock of his hair.” OK comedy, but not an action film. Why does the little guy (who looks like he has Downs Syndrome) sound like Jerry Lewis.
Shazbot’s Rating: 5/10
Having seen this film all of once, I can’t say I’m impressed. Perhaps I would have liked it better if I’d seen any of the other “Lucky Star” films, but I had definitely been hoping for more of Jackie. The fights are pretty good & the humor is plenty ridiculous, but I’d have to be in a very particular mood to watch this one again. I give it an extra point just for the funhouse scene, though.
Marcia’s Rating: 6/10
After analyzing this film, one know’s that Jackie was ready for Police Story. The opening draws the audience in with non-stop action as Jackie and his partner Yuen Biao chase a renegade HK cop out of a Japanese subway station. An excellent display of daring stuntwork and acrobatics, along with a great car chase precede. Then, Sammo and his buddies are introduced and slow the film down. Now, those who moan drawn out buddy-buddy gag sequences should be forewarned. Sammo and his friends give some comedic relief but it just drags on. Copping feels off of Sibelle Hu gets tired after a while, believe me, I’ve tried it, and she slapped me a couple of good ones as well. And the pantomime at the restaurant was just to much for me.
Finally, Jackie starts mixing it up a bit. Jackie disguises himself as a big-headed mascot (or something) and enters the amusement park’s funhouse, only to find out that the exhibits inside are trying to kill him. My Lucky Stars kicks into gear (finally) as Jackie fights his way through the surrealistic funhouse and into the Scarecrow Club’s headquarters. Jackie really shines in the entire finale; demonstrating his new style that would change cinematic history in Police Story. Chan plunders through his opponents with ease; releasing an explosion of energy that viewer’s really hadn’t seen to much of at this point in his career.
Yuen Biao has basically just a cameo in this three buddies film; and his talents really go to waste. Sammo displays his fast rhythmic bone-crunching style; but his kicks are just sloppy. Sammo’s side blade kicks are thrown practically from the ground, they need to be thrown from your knees for the full impact. Sammo’s crescent kicks are sloppy as well and he doesn’t extend to the fullest mark that a crescent kick needs to be reached; but its mainly because he can’t get his legs around his obese belly that easily. Sorry sammo, but Jackie put you to shame in this film. No wonder why you only allowed Jackie to make a presence of about 1/2 an hour. Overall, this film is pretty well done but its not on my top ten anywhere. I recommend any Chan fan to watch it for at least Jackie’s phenomonal skills.
Jan-Michael’s Rating: 7/10
This movie was different than any movie I’ve ever seen. One hand it has some great fight scenes and on the other it was filled with really corny humor. All the scenes with Jackie (there aren’t many) were fast moving fights with some cool moves. Some of the scenes with the orphans were funny (like the crazy guy driving the car), but too many were either too long or too stupid. The scene with the fake ninjas was funny at first but went on way to long. So in closing if you like a few fast moving fights with mixed corny humor and a little Jackie, this movie is for you. Other wise this one has a lot of dull moments.
EZwalk’s Rating: 5/10
Not a bad flick overall. This is a B movie from the 80’s with a healthy dose of Jackie Chan action towards the end and one REALLY COOL CAR STUNT in the beginning. This really belongs in a collection of Sammo Hung films (unless you don’t have one) though, the film features the “lucky stars” a group of old orphan buddies who reunite for adventure. They are really only so-so. Granted, they get their chance to shine, but sometimes they are pretty dumb. I’ll go see the other lucky star films, but now I know what to expect…
Andrew’s Rating: 5/10
This movie is better than “Winners and Sinners”, but not as great as “Twinkle Twinkle”. Sammo does a better job with his editing in this one, but it still is pretty bad. Jackie actually has some decent fighting in this one. There’s the fight in the beginning when JC and Yuen Biao are chasing the crooked cop. Then the fight where Samo accompanies JC in some ass kicking in Jackie’s house. And the finale is actually quite nice. There’s a cool chick fight. The comedy builds up on you until you start to feel a little bit like blurting out a laugh or to, but none of the comedy scenes really stick out as particularly funny. This is good as long as you don’t mind seeing JC in a small role.
Clint’s Rating: 6/10
This was and is one of the best Jackie/Samo films. I’d have to say Jackie and Samo Hung are the best movie duo ever. Forget Mel and Danny. Forget Bill and Ted. It’s them. This movie features Samo at his best, including a trick the horny guys play on the girl in the apartment (which got a little long). No, Jackie is not the main character in this movie. But if your read the title, it clearly describes the “Lucky Stars” as the stars of the film. Jackie shines in his part, although he plays sort of the straight man. Good movie throughout except a little slow in the middle.
Dusty’s Rating: 8/10
By Sean Johnson
This film is hella funny! the crazy orphanage guys keep the picture moving and the laughs coming. The only problem though is that Jackie isn’t in enough of this movie. He only really shows up at the end for a well executed action scene in a Theme Park Ghost house where he fights ninjas and Samurais. The problem with the American video is that about six minutes of the film are cut out, and it is released on an EP format brought out by Arena Video which is a company that consists of a bunch of con artists. Get the original version and have a good time.
Sean Johnson’s Rating: 7/10
By The Great Hendu
My Lucky Stars was a really funny movie. The five members of the “orphanage gang” were constantly pulling practical jokes and joking with each other. They were really the heart of the story. Jackie wasn’t the star of the movie, but the fight scenes he was in were phenomenal. If only he had been more prominent in this one it would have been a great flick. The Good: Jackie’s walk through the haunted house… The Bad: Not enough Jackie… The End: Good fight scene with the body builder woman!
The Great Hendu’s Rating: 7/10