Crazy Companies

There are times when the Wong Jing formula hits all the right manic notes and the product is inspired insanity that cleverly leaps across the border of good taste and decorum while there are other times when his films hit the ground with the thud of a dead fish. This fairly insipid outing has dead fish written all over it.

Wong Jing directs this 1988 film and assembles a very solid cast of actors – both future stars and well known comedic character actors – but the script leaves them very little to work with. Much of it is too tame for Wong Jing standards and much of it looks to have been buried beneath a thick cover of cobwebs before being exhumed for this film. Even so there are some pleasures for HK film fans here if you are a fan of some of the actors. Though well known by this time, Andy Lau still wasn’t the star he was soon going to be – but he has most of his trademark charms down in this film. For Chingmy Yau this was at the very beginning of her career – already a favorite of Wong Jing apparently – but she was still in her cute phase and had yet to discover her sizzling screen sexuality.

Andy, Sandra Ng, Chingmy, Joan Tong, Charlie Cho
The film begins promisingly as it opens with a shot of the Brooklyn Bridge! Andy is living in New York City and working as an extra for a low budget action film (Bloody Kung Fu) in which he has to allow himself to get beaten up by gweilos. He is contacted by his uncle though who tells him that his father has died and left Andy as part owner of the family business “it hasn’t done so well lately and is only worth about $8 billion now”! US dollars mind you. Considering they are in the coffin business – thats a lot of dead people. Of course, they have a different take on the coffin industry – they make their coffins to look just like furniture! Turn your end tables into your coffin  - what a deal.
Charlie, Natalis, Stuart Ong, Stanley Fung, Chingmy, Idy Chan
Anyway, Andy does his best Bruce Lee imitation on the gweilo and then heads back to Hong Kong where he is told by his half-brother, Stuart Ong, that he must start as the mail clerk and work his way up. If he can last six months, he will inherit his part of the company. Clearly, Ong has no intention of allowing this to happen and so hand picks the three biggest slackers in the company to work with Andy and bring him down. These are Stanley Fung, Natalis Chan and Charlie Cho.
Working in the company is also Chingmy and her friend, Joan Tong, and somehow all six of these characters end up living in the same small apartment. Ong tries to scuttle Andy by sending him to see a client, Idy Chan, with a briefcase full of pornographic magazines and sex toys in hopes of Andy making a fool of himself. Not our Andy though who suavely pretends to be blind and not know what is in the case. Idy falls for him, but his heart belongs of course to Chingmy – who is as adorable as a fluffy stuffed toy in this film.
The plot jumps all over the place – with a number of comedic routines thrown in for no particular reason or logic – some work – most don’t – but the actors make it as painless as possible and actually pleasant at other times. Sandra Ng also shows up here as a sex starved office worker and Wong Jing makes a cameo. At one point in the film, Andy mentions that he can’t stand the films of Wong or the acting of Natalis Chan!

My rating for this film: 5.0



DVD Information:

Distributed by Universe

The transfer is pretty good - a little soft at times - but clean and with decent colors.

Letterboxed

Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks

Chinese or English subs - that are easy to read.

8 Chapters

No trailer or other attractions.

Star files on Andy Lau and Natalis Chan.