My Lucky Stars
(Fuk sing go jiu) (1985)
Directed by Sammo Hung

Artistic Value: * *
Entertainment Value: * * ½

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When a Hong Kong policeman nicknamed Muscles (Jackie Chan) gets into trouble in Japan, and his partner is kidnapped, he requests that his old associate, Kidstuff (Sammo Hung), be sent to help him. Although Kidstuff is currently serving a prison sentence, he is released and allowed to recruit a number of his shady friends. This group, under the supervision of a female police officer named Barbara (Sibelle Hu), then travels to Japan in order to assist Muscles.

Sammo Hung's My Lucky Stars is a generally uninspired, nearly amorphous, and occasionally grating film, but it is always so likeable and so filled with reasonably exciting action sequences that it is able to retain the viewer's interest.


Most of the movie actually consists of a series of loosely connected comedic sketches. While few of these are likely to impress the viewer, a handful of them are somewhat funny. One, in which the protagonists take turns pretending to be masked intruders so that they can tie one member of their group after another to Barbara, is so ludicrous that it may make the viewer smile, and several others, in which one of the heroes' false belief that he has developed the ability to control others' thoughts is exploited, are relatively amusing. Most, however, are at best forgettable and at worst tedious.

I should also note that while the film features both Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung, the story is more focused on the latter's companions. Although he is often on screen, Hung rarely takes center stage, and Chan is used by the director primarily in the movie's fight sequences. He appears in very few other scenes.

Fortunately, the action routines with which My Lucky Stars is punctuated are engaging. Most are fairly extended and all are genuinely thrilling. While their enjoyableness is sometimes diminished by the movie's editing, which does not always permit the viewer to see the characters' battles clearly, they are still fun. Jackie Chan's initial fight with a series of sword wielding opponents in an amusement park and his concluding battle in a haunted house are especially well choreographed, creatively realized, and often infused with a pleasant sense of humor.

Although My Lucky Stars is severely flawed, it is generally fun and is frequently exciting. It is, at the least, able to entertain the viewer.

Review by Keith Allen

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