While there is really no doubt that Hong Kong film-makers can keep up with (and many times exceed) their western counterparts in most aspects despite having a fraction of the big Hollywood budgets, science fiction pictures from the region have almost always been lacking. Crystal Fortune Run (Phi Vu Tan Hoang Thach) is a prime example of this.
While it has a slice of potential, with the nucleus of a good story idea and some star power. The end product ends up as lacking any real punch. Despite any good intentions the film-makers had. They ultimately couldn’t overcome a bottom-of-the-barrel budget that makes the future vision come off as something that was funded by a Nyquil-fueled trip to Family Dollar.
According to the beginning title cards. Crystal Fortune Run takes place in a void known as “somewhere and sometime”, which seems to have caused the designers to swaddle every set with tin foil in a failed attempt to give a futuristic look to the proceedings. And why people employ pen-sized tools that can open ancient huge stone vaults, but will still use fax machines.
At any rate, Simon Yam plays Kong. A booze-soaked police officer who is trying to track down the thieves of one of the world’s largest diamonds. Complicating matters is the fact that both suspects (Anita Yuen and Cheung Man) are comely young lasses. And one of them has a robot arm. And, with that, my friends, it’s off to the races — or so one might think.
Viewers well-versed in the art of the B-movie will probably be able to forgive elements like rusted-out Lumina minivans apparently being the vehicular transport of choice in the future. However, getting past Crystal Fortune Run’s meandering nature is entirely another cinematic mountain to ascend. There are some well-done aspects presented here, such as the action and the interaction between the lead actors. But the production as a whole can’t string together these parts with enough skill to make the end product compelling enough to offer anything but a mild recommendation.
Over-the-top Hong Kong cyberpunk action reminiscent of the first two Terminator films. But with more martial arts and an opening heist brimmed with neon lighting. Worth watching if you’re in the mood for some mindless fun, or interested to see Sharla Cheung Man and Anita Yuen‘s humorous chemistry of clashing personalities.
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Cast: Sharla Cheung Man, Simon Yam, Anita Yuen
Runtime: 90 minutes