Winners and Sinners *** (out of 5) (1983)

Cast: Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Richard Ng, Charlie Shin, John Shum

Directed by Sammo Hung


Five con-man friends end up going to prison at the same time and vow to keep out of trouble when they get out by going legit and starting their own cleaning service. They still can't stay out of trouble though when thousands of dollars in counterfeit money ends up in their possession and they get caught in the crossfire of rival triads.

Far more entertaining than it is good. Lots of comedy and action, but not much of a story to speak of, leads to an enjoyable time watching but you may wonder what it was all about when it's over. A likeable cast of funny Hong Kong actors, with Chan and Hung giving particularly memorable performances. Some of the jokes are pretty old, so we'll have to knock Hung for plagiarizing but Asian cinema-goers probably never heard some of the American/English jokes. The action is nice, though not as spectacular as the later work of Chan, Hung and Biao (here in the first of many collaborations). The film is quite funny and pleasant but probably a half hour too long, and hits serious lulls when that thing known as a plot shows up every once in a while. Totally forgettable fluff, but a good time is almost assured.

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