This film revolves around the Millionaire Express – a train that travels through the country side carrying almost exclusively wealthy passengers. Naturally, being full of wealthy people, this train attracts a few groups of people out to gain some advantage from the wealthy people aboard it.
We have Ching, played by Sammo Hung, who is on the run from law enforcement and has decided to go back to his home town. There he plans to stop the train and force the wealthy people into his town and spend up – reviving it’s broken economy.
Aside from that we’ve got a group looking to rob the train, along with a group spying on a small team of Japanese who also have their own agenda. On top of all of that there’s another group of bandits who come into town to cause trouble. So when ther train stops the town goes nuts and we inevitably see a large and epic series of fights as the town breaks out into anarchy.
This movie has so much going on and so many recognizable names and faces. Straight off the bat you’ve got Sammo, but also Yuen Biao and a few others well known faces out to stop Ching from causing trouble around town as policemen. James Tien and Shih Kien (Han in Enter the Dragon) also pop their heads up whilst the large group of bandits are led by none other than Richard Norton and Cynthia Rothrock.
On top of the names are the multiple storylines from planned hijackingand even a man trying his very best to arrange an affair around his wife’s suspicious eyes. I like that this film has a lot going on yet the it doesn’t seem to get lost – instead managing to stay entertaining and lively.
This film offers a lot of comedy and is so packed with characters and smaller parallel storylines that all work in it’s favor. Meanwhile most of these smaller plots revolve around what’s happening with Sammo Hung’s character Ching. It seems to be more of a fun comedy than an action film, but there are plenty of fights to earn it the title of ‘martial arts movie’.
The Action & Martial Arts
As with Sammo’s other films, his action is always well performed. With the quality of performers around him it wouldn’t have been hard to keep up the quality, I think they did pretty well considering the comedic storyline.
The fights are sped up at times and can look a little jerky, but ultimately the athleticism of the performers still shines through. The action have a very fast pace and offer a lot of different types of fights.
There’s even a nice little fight between Sammo and Cynthia Rothrock where we see Sammo do a nice little Bruce Lee impression – showing the light-hearted nature behind the film and the action. It never gets too serious.
As usual most of the action comes into play toward the end of the film and is the most entertaining. Definitely a well put together film.
A cool movie, a good laugh and some decent action. A good well rounder for any martial arts movie fan!
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Shanghai Express (Special Collector’s Edition)
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Millionaires’ Express [DVD]