Writing about the Lucky Stars series is a hard thing to do, as its lack of mainstream appeal makes it hard for me to find clips from it to show. In retrospect, it’s easy to see why the 7-film franchise has never been able to leave its cult film status. Even though the franchise has featured the likes of Cantonese film legends like Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Eric Tsang, Andy Lau…and even Michelle Yeoh.
How would you describe the Lucky Stars franchise?
Comprised of 7 films (not including spin-offs), the franchise revolves around a cast of colorful vagrants named the “Lucky Stars”. A typical “Lucky Stars” movie is usually about the titular character’s getting themselves in trouble, getting out of said trouble, or about the character’s embarking on an adventure overseas. In one extreme case, the characters even go “ghost punting”.
Yes, I’m not even kidding. The Lucky Stars series has dipped into the supernatural before to…mixed results.
In retrospect, a Lucky Stars movie is not unlike an early Adam Sandler film. It’s populated by a cast of man-babies, rife with lazy toilet humor, and filled with eyebrow-raising jokes to say the very least. Like this scene, where the Lucky Stars have a little too much fun with Michelle Yeoh (in her on-screen debut nonetheless!)
…oh, and there’s also a scene like this in every Lucky Stars movie (VIDEO THUMBNAIL SAYS ALL).
However, the Lucky Stars series does have one saving grace…and if you’ve noticed my Jackie Chan namedrop earlier, you might be able to guess it.
Yes. Believe it or not, but most of the Lucky Stars movies usually have a few fight scenes or stunt sequences that make the experience worth the price of admission. While I could definitely spend some time talking about these fight scenes, it would be easier for me to show you.
…and that’s just from one movie. Here’s another fight scene for your consideration.
I’d show you more, but that’s the extent of Lucky Stars material that’s available on Youtube.
So what’s the future of this franchise?
Pretty bleak. Given that most of the cast is too old to deliver the stunt-work that’s expected of a Lucky Stars movie, it would be too hard to make another entry in the Lucky Stars franchise. Compound that with its relative unpopularity, it’s highly unlikely that the series would be rebooted too.
I’m intrigued, where do I start?
Since the Lucky Stars series doesn’t follow a continuous narrative, you can really just pick the movies you want to watch.
In my opinion, the ideal starting point is Winners and Sinners (that’s the movie that kicked the entire franchise off). But since it’s unavailable on western streaming outlets, I would like to recommend My Lucky Stars and Lucky Stars go Places since they are the only films of the Lucky Stars series that are legally available for western audiences. Both films are available on Amazon Prime streaming.