[box cover]

My Lucky Stars

If only the entire film featured Jackie Chan fighting a gang of ninjas, instead of just the first five minutes, My Lucky Stars (1985) might have something going for it. Instead, Chan's foray into chop-socky cinema in the mid-'80s continues with this regrettable career choice. Of course, it's not really fair to point a finger at Chan, considering he's in the film for all of 30 minutes. Director Sammo Hung, who also stars as "Kidstuff," is in fact the culprit behind this farcical attempt at caper-comedy. While trying to track down the notorious gangster Mashimoto, Muscles' (Chan) partner is kidnapped by a gang of ninjas (as mentioned, things were looking good at this point). He'll need fresh faces to go inside and save his friend, so he recruits Kidstuff to gather the old team, all friends from their orphanage days. Now in various forms of incarceration or criminal activity, Kidstuff brings the crew together with the promise of a big job. Of course, the cops are involved, and the team is blackmailed into helping. However, all is not lost — they are to be escorted by Inspector Woo (Yuen Biao), and if the gang can just keep their hands off her, they may get out unscathed. Unfortunately, a better part of 45 minutes is spent on the gang's attempts to get her into bed. One awful gag after another, seemingly endless in repetition and absence of humor, makes the second act a tough stretch to get through. During their first night together, there is a scene that seems to drag forever — one guy goes into Woo's room, claiming he's heard something. Another comes in dressed like a ninja, and ties them up, then leaves. This repeats five times, and by the end it's long past dull. Once the third act gets rolling, there's an awkward bit of silly fight scenes as Kidstuff brawls his way through a haunted house to Mashimoto's hidden base. Granted, it's comical to watch Sammo Hung do his thing — he doesn't look like he's in very good shape, and seeing him kick and jump around is good for a few laughs, not to mention an impressive display. Since the film as billed would have one believe there's going to be a lot of Chan, it's disappointing that's not the case. The gags get a little too much time, and by the end the joke falls flat. Fox presents My Lucky Stars with an anamorphic transfer (1.78:1). The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks (Cantonese or English dub) are good, although there's really no action to take advantage of it, just the score's cringe-worthy keyboard tracks. Two trailers for the film are presented (one for the DVD), as well as trailers for the other films in the series. Keep-case.
—Scott Anderson



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