Crazy Companies II

I was just slightly confounded to discover that there was actually a sequel to Crazy Companies I. That film had struck me as a rather dull and listless exercise, but upon checking the box office numbers for 1988 I was even more shocked to see that it ranked 10th. So what do I know? Not only that but this sequel which came out in the same year ranked 17th at the box office. I guess I should just be grateful that this success didnít spawn a long array of Crazy Companies ad nauseum and that they ended mercifully with this one because the chances are that as long as Chingmy would have kept appearing in them, I would keep buying them. Since these were produced by Wong Jing, it is especially surprising that the series didnít continue as he is the Marquis de Sade of beating a franchise to death Ė Raped by an Angel anyone?
No doubt everyone recalls how the first film ends (that would be a mild attempt at humor) Ė but in case it has receded from your memory like a bad stomach virus eventually does from your entrails Ė Andy Lau had risen to be head of the company with his friends Stanley Fung, Charlie Cho and Natalis Chan assisting him and he has fallen in love with the adorably cute Chingmy Yau. Not a bad little deal. Well the same terrific cast is back and Wong Jing has added even a little more splash by throwing in Rosamund Kwan, Sandra Ng and Dodo Cheng along with a number of character actors such as Shing Fui-on, Lawrence Ng, Stuart Ong, Lau Siu Ming, Helena Law Lan, Yip Wing Cho, Wong San, Chan Fai-hung and the veteran actor, Hui Ying-sau. Quite an astonishing group of actors for such a tepid trifle, but Wong Jing had that sort of power. Even though it is enjoyable stumbling across all these actors to some extent, unfortunately they just seem to get into each otherís way and no one gets much time except Andy and his three goofy friends. Sadly, Chingmy is used only sporadically as is Rosamund and Dodo and that is a cinematic crime in my book.
Since the first film ended, it appears that Andy has driven the company to the brink of bankruptcy with a mountain of debt. From his appearance, it looks as if Andy was spending more time coiffing his hair than in looking after his business. When the slimy Lawrence Ng (you know he is slimy because he dates trashy white women!) demands immediate payment for his loan, the company is unable to fork it up and it is picked up by another company that Ng works for. Andy and his three stooges are bounced out on the street and into a state of unemployment. Meanwhile, poor Natalis gets married to Sandra Ng and he is instantly adorned with a male chastity belt that blows out the race track bugle call whenever he gets horny Ė which is often, but never for Sandra. A horny Natalis is not a pleasant sight and can put one off eating for days. He is also tattooed across his chest with a warning to his female targets that he has a venereal disease.
To win back their company, the foursome surreptitiously join the company as low-level trainees but of course soon rise to the top. Part of this entails Andy having to romance Rosamund who is the daughter of the company head and Natalis coming on to the straight laced Dodo Cheng who is also related in some way to a higher up. Poor Chingmy. Andy naturally runs into numerous situations when he has both women together and has to act quickly to stop them from learning about one another - not an easy task as Rosamund has some ESP ability to know what a person is thinking by coming into contact with them. Think what a downer that would be on a first date. The viewer also has the thrilling opportunity to see Stanley Fung and Shing Fui-on in a tight lipped kiss (sorry not shown here for fear that the Republican National Committee would write me a nasty e-mail) and also see Shing and Lawrence placed in an unnaturally compromising position that is nearly scary to witness (which is pictured here because I won't bend completely to political pressures! And I think Shing Fui-on looks kind of cute.).
For the most part this is just a collection of skits tied together with the merest of plots, but few of them are in the least bit amusing. Have times changed so much that people really found this funny 15 years ago? Itís interesting to note that slight comedic films like this were produced by the bushel full back in the late 80ís. The formula was simple - put together a good cast and the film could easily be pre-sold to other markets in Asia that would guarantee a profit. Now except for a few high profile films from Johnny To or Andrew Lau, this is rarely the case and films such as Crazy Companies have become nearly extinct.

My rating for this film: 5.5