Dragon Forever

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In the mid- to late- '80s, legendary Hong Kong star and director Sammo Hung made a string of kung-fu action comedies which came to be called the Lucky Stars series. Featuring a revolving cast of the Asian film industry's top action stars and comedians-but almost always including Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, and later Yuen Biao-the six films were an enormously successful growing experience for all involved. In addition to being lots of fun and making lots of money, these six (so far) films allowed Hung to polish his directorial style, Chan to display his considerable comedic talents and physical ability, and Biao to break out of his Ed Harris-esque eternal-costar mode and eventually star in movies of his own. The first, and shakiest, of the Lucky Stars films was Winners And Sinners (1983), in which bumbling burglar Hung gets in hot water, goes to jail, and meets up with Hong Kong's top comics. They decide to go straight and form a cleaning company, but run afoul of a counterfeiting gang under investigation by overzealous policeman Chan. Unfortunately, the emphasis in this movie is squarely on the humor, which doesn't translate well at all. Lots of bad, badly dubbed/subtitled comedy goes slowly by, with Hong Kong's top comics fighting a losing battle against the language barrier the whole way. There are few good moments, but the 10 good minutes are incredible: Hung's brilliant slapstick breaking-and-entering scheme is foiled by a surprise party, and a rollerskate-clad Jackie Chan uses busy highway traffic to slingshot himself under a moving truck.