Friday, February 13, 2009

The Fortune Code

Set during the Japanese occupation of China, Andy Lau plays Wah, a prisoner who escapes a POW camp only to be unintentionally recruited by his spy fiancee (Anita Mui) and her accomplice Hung (Sammo Hung) to join them, and another spy Robin (Alam Tam) to break back into the prison to find the “God of Fortune” who posses a code to get into a Swiss bank account and claim a $500 Billion fortune intended for the Chinese Military.

Unfortunately it would not be easy, as the head of the prison also happens to be looking for the same code. If he finds the code first, Japan will have the funds to completely take over China. So its up to the four spies, along with a group of hapless Chinese prisoners to find the fortune first and save their country.

Fortune Code is a fun film, filled with an almost entirely recognizable cast of great actors and actress’. but its not much more then that unfortunately. It’s a fairly simple story, 4 spies breaking into a prison (well, only 3 of the 4 actually break in at first) to find a prisoner they believe to hold the key to a fortune great enough to save China from Japans grasps. That’s about it. In the meantime our main hero Wah (Lau) just wants to get everything over with so he can marry his fiancee (Mui). There is plenty of decent action, but including some impressive fights involving Sammo of course, but Andy Lau as well. Its nice to see Lau doing action like he used to. The film has far more humor though, that is where Fui-On Shing, Eric Tsang, and Billy Lau come in! But the film overall felt a bit flat at the end.

As I stated above the films strongest point is its cast. Where to begin? First off our 4 main Hero (code named Spy 1, Spy 2, Spy 3, and you guessed it Spy 4) are played by Andy Lau, Sammo Hung, Anita Mui, and Alam Tam. Inside the prison we have a mentally ill man named Chocolate played by the films director Kent Cheng. A very feminine prisoner played by Shing Fui-On's. A group of tough, overly-patriotic pilots which happen to include the out-of-place Eric Tsang. Billy Lau playing the weak hearted “Donald Duck”, Charlie Cho is in there as a henchmen to the prison leader. Chung Fat, Ridly Tsui, Ken Lo, and Gordon Liu all appear in the film as well. I could go on! Ben Lam, Wilson Lam, Parkman Wong, and Siu Mok. What you want more? Well. . .watch the film!

The Fortune Code is a fun film yes, and its worth watching just to see everyone in the film, its kinda like Millionairs Express, or Twin Dragons, while watching the film its fun to just wait in anticipation to see who will pop up next. Gordon Liu shows up near the end of the film, and that led to a “Hey!” moment! The film also has a strong “The Great Escape” feel to it, which begs the question “Was The Fortune Code inspired by The Great Escape?” I think so! In fact I was waiting for someone to try to escape on a motorcycle. I regret to inform you that moment would never come.

It is worth a watch for the cast alone, but that is about it.


A Film by Kent Cheng

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