The Return of the Lucky Stars

Return of the Lucky Stars
(Lucky Stars #5)

Directed by Stanley Sui-Fan Fung
Starring Stanley Fung, Richard Ng, Eric Tsang

Rating: ******

A few of the Stars are mysteriously absent
From this sequel five films in,
Notably superstar Sammo Hung
And the handsome Charlie Chin.

Charlie Chin was also missing
From the last installment,
Though to be fair, the Stars had a very small part—
Not a marriage. An annulment.

Here’s Charlie Chin’s replacement.

We’re lucky that he reappears
In number six: Ghost Punting,
After which he retired for good,
Perhaps to go fox hunting.

The formula for these movies
Is straightforward and basic.
The police recruit some small-time crooks
To aid them in their cases.

They send a policewoman to their home
To watch over them and train them.
She’s young and pretty and at the mercy
Of their stunts and pranks and mayhem.

They each take time to make some time
And get to know the lady,
And they’re often fighting for their turns
To touch or grope the lady.

Their personalities and names
Change from film to film.
It’s also true that their skills and crimes
Change throughout the films,

But two constants remain the same:
They are crooks and dirty men.
They get slapped by girls and try to take
What does not belong to them.

Our story begins in a bridal shop
They’re running as a business.
They make pests of themselves and they are thusly
Driven out of business.

The police arrest a gangster boss,
Who puts on a relaxed face,
A face that quickly pales as
He learns he’s been replaced.

The new boss won’t supply a lawyer
For the boss that just got caught.
The captured boss eats what he’s given,
Though it doesn’t amount to a lot.

So, Supt. Tso, a regular here,
Declines to call the Stars from his phone.
Instead, he gathers many armed cops,
And they all invade their home.

They plant the place with arms and drugs,
But get no restitution,
And the superintendent tells them that
They’re charged with prostitution.

So they’re taken to jail and Tso explains
That he needs their help once more,
So he’s sending them all to prison,
This time knowing what’s in store.

They’re told to befriend the gangster boss
And break him out of jail.
To make it realistic,
They get beaten when they fail.

They’re beaten up and trained to fight,
Yet still they’re quite pathetic.
They’re swindlers, not fighters.
Their new bruises are a poor aesthetic.

Their time in prison is a trial,
And Tso comes disguised as a guard.
Later, he becomes a prisoner
To help them escape from the yard.

They cause a riot, but before they leave,
They all gang up on Tso.
They give him lots of punches
Before they take the boss and go.

They follow the boss to his place,
Where the new boss is now residing.
They capture him and tie him up.
Then they come out of hiding.

They convince the former boss to squeal
Against his new replacement.
As a reward, the old boss gets
A small sentence abatement.

Unluckily, the new boss wins.
His trial was a farce.
He paid his way free from his difficulties,
So the law could kiss his arse.

This makes the old boss angry,
And he vows to get revenge.
The Stars’ new secretary then gets shot,
So they, too, want revenge.

The old boss gets them lots of guns,
And they kill a lot of henchmen.
Charlie Chin’s new stand-in can suddenly fight,
And the new boss is apprehended.

They saved the day, and Banana
–Their secretary, who had died—
Is still alive and well because
Her death scene was a lie.

I’ll give this film a score of three.
It wasn’t bad and it wasn’t great.
It had its moments, to be sure,
Though some of these moments came late.

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