Millionaires Express (1986)

So the motor vehicles and clothes mostly suggest a period setting of about the late 1920s or so. The hairstyles, at least some of them, suggest mid-80s. The presence of a small child called Wong Fei-Hung—yes, that one—suggests… well… mid-1850s. I gave up trying to untangle the film’s somewhat confused period around the same time I gave up trying to work out all who was who in the film—apparently it was made as a new year special event (released January 1 1986) and pretty much all of Golden Harvest’s stable of actors except that Chan fellow are in it somewhere —and then gave up trying to watch it at all without help from Bey Logan. The latter says in his commentary that he tried to get a British distributor to put the film out in the UK, but they couldn’t get past the fucking weird opening reel, and I can sympathise with that, to be honest… his suggestion that the film works on the same sort of level as a Warners cartoon (cf. the amount of  undercranking to produce unusually fast motion on screen in the manner of silent comedy) does offer a certain way into the film, which I’d otherwise been finding kind of baffling in terms of what it was trying to actually be. He also says something about the crew being quite high on pot during parts of the shooting, which might explain some things… Plot (if that’s the word) revolves around a train from Shanghai bearing three Japanese passengers targeted by a gang of bandits, train gets derailed by Sammo to bring business into his rundown village, whose police force have literally robbed the place blind, Sammo’s being pursued by a bounty hunter, fighting ensues. Thanks to Logan I can at least kind of appreciate what Hung was trying to achieve here, which. unfortunately, is not the same as actually liking it; character bloat and lack of focus undermine what I’m sure could’ve been quite good but, alas, didn’t work for me except in bits here and there.

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