Magnificent Scoundrels

Don’t blink while you are watching this Stephen Chow vehicle or you will likely miss something pretty funny. It is a hilarious little tale of scam artists with routines being thrown at you like baseballs in a batting cage – just one after another. Some are classics.
Hotdog anyone ?
Chow plays a small time hustler – often pretending to be an illegal immigrant washed ashore – in front of a tour bus and just happens to be carrying some Chinese antiques. He goes to his mentor Karl Maka who inspires him to go for the big gig. While pretending to be a blind man in order to get a taxi – it doesn’t work as the crowd beats the hell out of him anyway – he gets a ride from Teresa Mo (Hard Boiled). Thinking that he is blind, she tries to pickpocket him and when that doesn’t work pretends to have hit an old lady with the car so that he will pay compensation.  Chow wants to help the old lady so Mo becomes the little old lady, Chow says call the cops – Mo pretends to be a cop, then a terrorist and finally a dog. It’s a fabulous routine and it looks as if Chow can barely contain his laughter.
Chow and Teresa Mo
It turns out that Mo is in trouble with a loan shark – Roy Cheung – who sends his brother – the none too bright – Yuen Wah to get payment. Chow comes to her aid as the Blind Swordman – but in the end they both are told by Cheung that they have a week to come up with the money. So Chow and Mo become partners and come up with various scams to get the money.
Yuen Wah and Blind Swordsman
At the same time Wu Ma is trying to pull a scam that involves pretending to be a rich man who is waiting for a wealthy kid from the US to show up. Instead Chow shows up and is mistaken for the kid. Now both are trying to scam each other. The icing on the cake is when Wu Ma brings in his “daughter” a call girl played by the very bounteous Amy Yip to seduce Chow.
The Yipster is terrific in this film and has a few great scenes. One is perhaps the funniest and yet most disgusting kiss with Chow in the history of film. I began laughing so hard I almost felt ill.
This is just a funny film – not as sophisticated as some of Chow’s other films – a lot of pratfalls and gags – but I rarely went more than a few minutes without a good laugh.
 

My rating for this film: 7.5