Sammo Hung didn’t have a shortage of films by the time 1986 rolled around, so he needed a new edge to keep audiences coming back. He decided to add a unique spin on the action by making the film feel more like a western. Even though the environment changed, he made sure to bring back a number of famous faces like Yuen Biao, Cynthia Rothrock, Richard Norton, and Kurata Yasuaki to ensure the action remained solid. Was the risk worth the payoff?
The story of Millionaire’s Express can get a little cluttered at times, so it’s important to know what’s going on. While it’s a lot to keep track of, a lot of the comedic elements come from this confusion, which is actually pretty entertaining. Sammo Hung plays, Ching Fong-Tin, a clever “businessman” who has returned home with profit in his mind. He plans to stop a train of wealthy passengers, forcing them to stay in the city, but things get more than a little complicated when several of the passengers have their own plans for the train.
I love this guy…
Most of the characters are very one-sided, and it’s just to get laughs. While this may sound like a bad thing, it’s actually easier to keep track of people and what they are doing during the film. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t laugh during some segments, even though a lot of the jokes are dated. Needless to say, you might be able to see the jokes coming from a mile away, but others feel fresh and fun, making sure you’ll smile from time to time.
This is why people want to see Sammo and Yuen Biao on the screen, and it doesn’t disappoint. The fights are fast and energetic, though they aren’t very plentiful. You’ll be able to see Hung and Biao go at it one on one as well as a very large-scale fight at the end of the film. While I would have hoped for more action, it’s important to realize the movie is only about an hour and a half long, and there has to be time for story in there somewhere. For what it’s worth, some of Yuen’s sequences are truly awesome, especially the stunt he has on the roof of a burning building.
Own it, Watch it, or Skip it?
Older movies are harder to review because of the fact that films keep evolving as time passes. However, I’m still amazed to see what these guys were capable of in their prime, and it makes you wonder what they would have been able to do with today’s technology. As a standalone film, this movie isn’t necessarily Sammo’s best, but not his worst either. I think this movie got overlooked, which is a shame because it has some very amazing moments in it. While you may not desperately need to own this one, you won’t be disappointed if you decide to pop it in from time to time.