The cheeky chaps make a return in the final installment of the Lucky Stars series, with a few new faces. How will this fair against its predecessor?
All the cast from Lucky Stars return, although for some reason Herb only makes an appearance and is replaced by Michael Miu (Alain), as the romeo of the movie. Rosamund Kwan (of Armour of God fame) also joins the cast. John Shum who was in Winners and Sinners, but absent from My Lucky Stars returns as Johnny. Andy Lau makes an entrance into this movie as a colleague of Jackie Chan’s.
The movie starts with a road trip to the beach. The lads make some new friends on the coach, but they are less than impressed with them. Poison Ivy and Fast Buck are taking a stroll on the beach. Fast Buck is sure he’s in there with her, but is brought crashing back down to earth, when she reveals that she used him during My Lucky Stars! Heartbroken, Fast Buck takes out his frustration on his friends in comedic fashion (you should see their beach wear)! Having to apologise to their new lady friends, the gang have had to pay for dinner. Rawhide is the centre of attention here, telling jokes and making everybody laugh. One of my favourite scenes!
Later on, Sandy is up to his old tricks and pays a shaman priest a visit, in order to finally reach the holy grail of spell-casting, the voodoo doll! Putting this to the test the next day, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot-with hilarious effect. Will this guy ever learn?
Poison Ivy pays Kidstuff (a.k.a. Fast Buck, Sammo) a visit, after her Superintendent (Cho) gives her a call. She asks for his assistance in helping her track down an informant, who has some potentially important info. Unbeknownst to the pair, someone knows about this and sends his goons (one of which is Richard Norton) to annihilate the informant. Fast Buck and Poison Ivy are too late! The criminal that ordered the hit knows that a letter was sent by the informant, before he died to a friend of his. This letter has incriminating evidence and needs to be destroyed at all costs. Can Poison Ivy and Fast Buck get there before the goons do?
The first real piece of action comes after the death of Poison Ivy’s (a.k.a. Barbara) informant. Here the two are preparing to leave for their journey and a group of attractive ladies appear from nowhere -Fast Buck’s jaw hits the floor! Eager to help these ladies who seem to be lost, his smile is turned upside down when they all begin to attack him! Sammo is fantastic here -kicking and dodging large knife attacks. Alain joins in the fun and although he cannot fight, has some of the quickest moves to deal with the onslaught! His performance here is one of my faves in the movie, despite its briefness.
Now we see the return of Muscles (Jackie Chan) and Ricky (Yuen Biao). Andy Lau joins them as their new police side-kick. Soon, they are involved in a warehouse brawl, where it has become too dangerous to fire bullets! Each of these three make a unique entrance, with Chan’s being the best! Yuen Biao shows why he’s probably the most agile performer in Hong Kong cinema -great kicking too! Andy impresses here as well, with moves that appear taken from Japanese karate kata in places. Fast hand-work and wild leaps with smashing endings are all to be had here. The highlight for me though, is his encounter with the lead criminal boss of the gang. Here they really go at it, with the boss pulling out an outrageous counter, when seemingly being seconds from defeat! I have watched this over and over, firstly because I was just shocked and surprised at what had happened. Then because I wondered, “how on earth did he do that?”, it really was unexpected! Jackie Chan is his usual blazingly quick and furious self. Quick moving is coupled with quick thinking and some of his moves are reminiscent of Police Story .
Next, we have a high-speed car chase involving the assassins from earlier and the police, Jackie Chan and Andy Lau. Having chased them all over, Officer Muscles manages to keep on the tail of Richard Norton. Chasing him on foot through tight alleyways, the two exchange blows while objects are thrown as well as fists. Ultimately, Norton outsmarts Muscles -he will have to wait another day to catch him. An adrenaline pumping start to Richard Norton’s Hong Kong career!
The final fight involves everybody. The three assassins have come for another assignment. But to get there, they must pass the three brothers. Chung Fat and Yuen Biao get the party started with their fast paced tango. While this is going on Muscles has his hands full with the Japanese assassin Riki Hashimoto. To make matters worse, Muscles has been shot and has to fight him, reminiscent of Jimmy Wang-Yu in, One Armed Boxer. During their fight, the action switches to Sammo and Richard Norton’s encounter. This fight is pretty hardcore! The punishment that both of these great martial artists endured for this scene is more than cause to wince! Richard Norton has some slick moves and so does Sammo Hung. Mix in a little comedy into the mix, and the result, is a cocktail of laughs and entertainement!
Finally, as part of this showdown, Fast Buck takes over from Muscles when it is apparent that his gunshot wound makes him struggle (more than likely because of Jackie Chan’s real life shoulder injury). After some posing and showing off from both combatants, they really go at each other! This culminates in one of the most brutal and painful endings I have seen in ANY martial arts film and I wonder if Riki Hashimoto was still in one piece after filming this! Got to say, this is a wonderfully stimulating movie from an applaudable series!
Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars is a fun-filled, spectacularly action-packed movie, something that we have become accustomed to from the three brothers (Sammo, Jackie and Yuen). This is definitely a must watch, if for no other reason than to see just how the trilogy ends!
- Jackie Chan had an injury before the shooting of this movie. As such, his final fight had to be re-arranged with Sammo Hung stepping in to fill the void.
- Richard Norton had said that he was originally going to play the part of Benny “The Jet” Urquidez’s role in Wheels on Meals.
- Richard Norton was actually knocked out by Sammo Hung during the filming of their fight!
Film Rating: 8/10