In 1930s Hong Kong, down-on-his-luck Jackie Chan buys a rose from flower seller, whopromises the rose will bring him luck. No sooner has she said this than our hero winds up smackdab in the middle of a gang war, and the next thing he knows, he’s become the new boss. Inbetween difficulties with a rival gang, Chan rewards the woman to whom he attributes his changein fortune by setting her up in a grand hotel so she can impress her daughter, who is arriving fromShanghai…
So you have a bit of everything here: warring gangsters, comedy, family melodrama, andelaborate fight scenes. These latter are among the best of Chan’s career, exhilarating set pieces asperfectly choreographed as the most elaborate MGM dance sequence. The intervening plot,however, while good-hearted, takes far too much time getting where it’s going. The film comesin two different versions: widescreen Cantonese (running127 minutes), and dubbed fullscreenEnglish (running 106 minutes).
The soundtrack in both languages is mono. For the most part, the sound is clean and clear,though there is a bit of distortion now and then on the dialogue. The music doesn’t suffer fromthis problem, though. Nothing spectacular, but enough to get the job done.
Bad grain and damage on the fullscreen version. The widescreen print is in better shape, butis showing its age: the colours in some scenes are rather washed out, or developing a pink tint.Most objectionable is severe edge enhancement, and horizontal lines across the entire picture,blurring the image and rendering the picture just this side of unwatchable.
There is a minimal biography/filmography of Jackie Chan, and an isolated music score (soif happy, boppy synth is your tying, there ya go). The menu is basic.
Apparently Chan’s favourite of his films, this is an extremely good-hearted flick, even if itcan get tiring in between the set pieces. An extra star for those magnificent fights, though.
Special Features List
- Isolated Music Score