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My Lucky Star
My Lucky Star

Zhang Ziyi in My Lucky Star.
Chinese: 非常幸運
Year: 2013  
Director: Dennie Gordon  
Producer: Zhang Ziyi, Ling Lucas, William Cheng, Second Chan, Beaver Kwei
Writer: Amy Snow, Meng Yao, Sean Huang, Chris Chow

Zhang Ziyi, Leehom Wang, Terri Kwan Wing, Ryan Zheng Kai, Jack Kao, Yao Chen, Ruby Lin, Ada Choi Siu-Fun, Zhang Jin, Liu Hua, Brian Burrell, Wang Ji, Ma Weijiang, Morris Rong, Wang Baoqiang

The Skinny: Egregiously commercial action-comedy that works as dumb, star-driven fluff. However, as a prequel to Sophie's Revenge, My Lucky Star is a travesty. Zhang Ziyi fan service, ahoy!
by Kozo:

Zhang Ziyi recycles well-worn Hollywood tropes in My Lucky Star, the prequel to the entertaining 2009 romcom Sophie’s Revenge. But while Revenge showed a surprising fun side to the usually icy Zhang, Lucky Star feels more like an aging ingénue trying to maintain her populist cred. Before becoming the successful cartoonist that we saw in Revenge, Sophie (Zhang) is a struggling cartoonist who works at a travel agency. Instead of actually working, Sophie spends her time doodling and daydreaming of her perfect man, who appears in her imagination looking like Leehom Wang. Sophie gets an undeserved break when she wins a Singapore vacation from electronics retailer Suning (the first of many product placements in the film), and embarks on the journey alone after her pals (the returning Yao Chen and Ruby Lin) ditch her. The ditzy Sophie on vacation alone? Let the yuks begin.

Thanks to a variety of circumstances that could only happen in the movies, Sophie gets involved in the theft of the Lucky Star, a $250 million diamond that’s also a key component in a satellite laser that can destroy whole islands. Sophie is ill-equipped to fight spies and arms dealers, but luckily she meets agent David Yan (Leehom Wang), who she lusts after because he looks just like the man of her dreams. While Sophie acts daffy and clueless (she thinks the spy adventure is part of her prize package from Suning), David fends off the bad guys (led by regular Taiwanese heavy Jack Gao) and guides Sophie through the world of international espionage, with Hong Kong, Macau and Shanghai among their many destinations. Will the bad guys succeed in building their Death Star laser and will love blossom between Sophie and David? Your first guess is correct.

As a commercial action-comedy, My Lucky Star is unapologetically cartoonish and predictable. Producer and star Zhang Ziyi enlisted American director Dennie Gordon (the 2003 Amanda Bynes vehicle What a Girl Wants) for this prequel, and the Hollywood influence can be seen in the formulaic devices, routine gags and abundant lapses of logic. The mediocrity may be intentional; the filmmakers’ only goal seems to be making a good-looking and unchallenging commercial showcase for Zhang Ziyi. To her credit, she’s game for the film’s double-entendres, objectified gazes and abundant silliness – though it’s arguable that Zhang may be trying a bit too hard with the fan service. Pink wigs, geek girl outfits, a black mini-dress and leather pants – Zhang rocks them all, plus she crawls seductively on a bar top and dances in a nurse outfit. There is an obvious audience for what I’ve just described.

Ultimately, My Lucky Star is what it is. By any self-respecting measure, this is a bad movie and should only appeal to people who are cool with crappy commercial cinema. The film is slickly made and has plenty of eye candy; besides Zhang, Leehom Wang is that same handsome guy who you see in music videos and Seiko watch commercials, and Taiwanese actress Terri Kwan shows up in a bikini and shows off her pierced navel as Sophie’s romantic rival Charlize Wong. Little here is really that objectionable, though the film disappoints as a prequel to Sophie’s Revenge. My Lucky Star takes that film’s eccentric yet loveable romantic heroine and turns her into the strangely competent star of her own spy adventure – an incongruous and possibly bothersome development for anyone who actually enjoyed Sophie’s Revenge for its content. Fans of Zhang Ziyi will likely be happy with her continued pratfalls, but fans of Sophie? No luck for them. (Kozo, 1/2014)


DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Panorama (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Mandarin Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc

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