Here's five reasons why you should love Wong Jing's sci-fi action comedy Magic Crystal
Number Five: Goof-ball Special Effects
Hong Kong films of this type were known for their creative if not unsophisticated special effects and Magic Crystal falls very comfortably in that category. Still, there are some very bizarre and creepy moments such as when you realize the crystal, which has fallen into the hands of the child Pin-Pin played by Ben Siu, actually has a mouth and can eat. It's as goofy as it sounds and I love it when a film uses practical as opposed to CG effects regardless of the end result.
Number Four: Chaplin Would Be Proud
One of the major attributes of Magic Crystal are the absolutely tremendous action scenes choreographed by Tony Leung Siu-Hung. One stand out sequence which takes place early in the film sees Andy go against a knife wielding thug armed with an umbrella which leads to some Chaplin inspired moves. Absolutely fantastic.
Number Three: She'll Cook You Dinner Then Kick Your Teeth In
Another great highlight is the role of Ben's mother played by Wong Mei Mei. A Shaw Brothers contract player through the late 70s and early 80s, Wong gets to really strut her stuff in the film and goes up against villain Richard Norton in an excellent throwdown. Sadly, this was her last screen role but you have to wonder how someone of Wong's talents would have faired working with someone like Sammo Hung or Jackie Chan. My guess would be fantastically well.
Number Two: Richard Norton, The Greatest Bond Villain That Never Was
Australian martial arts expert Richard Norton plays the main villain of the film and he has get his hands on the crystal by any means necessary. There's vague references made to world domination as to why he needs the crystal. This is compounded by the fact Richard has a desk with the world map on it and you just know that every bad guy ever with aspirations for taking over the world has one of these. Though, it's never made clear as to how exactly the crystal will help him achieve this.
Number One: Three Way Dance
I already mentioned this film has some brilliant action. The best is most definitely saved for last which sees Andy Lau and Cynthia Rothrock take on Richard Norton. The film really surprised me by just how fantastic the fighting was. I would even go so far as to say this is right up there with anything Sammo and Jackie were doing at the time, it's that good. Also of all the films Richard made in Hong Kong during this time, this has to be the best of them all.
That's my 5 Things To Love About Magic Crystal. Be sure to return to the blog tomorrow which will see the beginning of the Mao March Marathon!