Shanghai Express

Sammo, forced to dance as a woman.

Shanghai Express

(1986)

Directed by Sammo Hung
Starring Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Olivia Cheng, Rosamund Kwan, Eric Tsang, Richard Ng, Cynthia Rothrock, Richard Norton, Wu Ma

Rating: ******
              4.5/6

This movie is part Western,
Part action and part farce.
It’s a period piece with grand, fine sets.
The budget was far from sparse.

The man who’s after Sammo.

The actors wear period costumes,
And the machines are from the right time.
We see the magnificent Shanghai Express,
A train that looks very sublime.

This movie isn’t about the train,
Though it does feature neatly within.
Instead, it’s about a scoundrel,
And what he’s willing to do to win.

The fireman, Yuen Biao.

The scoundrel is played by Sammo Hung,
A crook who is fleeing the Law.
He travels back to his old hometown,
Where once had lived his Mom.

He starts buying up real estate.
He spends like an affluent man.
He purchases the inn and the grocery store
Because he has a plan.

The sheriff, Eric Tsang.

His plan is to blow up the railway tracks
On which the Express is due to arrive.
If he stops the train in front of the town
The villagers will thrive.

This is because the wealthy Chinese
Travel on this train.
If they spend their money in the town
It will be swimming in money again.

Yuen and Sammo fight.

His plan is almost foiled
By fireman Yuen Biao.
His job’s to put out fires,
And to catch the villains, too.

Luckily for Sammo Hung,
He’s the better at Kung Fu.
He safely plants his dynamite
And makes it go Kaboom.

Richard Ng.

Sammo’s great big plan
Seems to go off without a hitch.
All the millionaires get out
And they start to make him rich.

Unbeknownst to the town,
An evil horde of thugs
Are waiting for the opportune time
To swarm the town like bugs.

The bad guys.

This they do, and mayhem ensues,
And they lock the people up.
They take all the money and valuables
…But Sammo doesn’t give up.

He, the firemen and all the police
Begin to work as one.
They kill a lot of criminals,
And by a lot I mean a ton.

Cynthia Rothrock gets angry.

We see chases, swordfights and crazy stunts,
Many of which look painful as Hell.
Richard Norton fights the Japanese,
And Sammo fights Cynthia Rothrock as well.

Eventually all the baddies are dead,
And the day is finally saved,
Though it wasn’t easy for the townsfolk
Who got by with a close shave.

Richard Norton gets into the fight.

This movie is chockful of cameos.
We see Richard Ng and Eric Tsang,
And folks most Westerners would not recognize,
Unless Asian Cinema is their thang.

The audience wasn’t allowed to get bored,
So continuous was the action.
This movie gets a four out of five.
I think you’ll enjoy it a fraction.

Yuen Biao amazes us.

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