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Three Against the World
Chinese 群龍奪寶
Year: 1988
Director: Brandy Yuen Chun-Yeung
Action: Yuen Wah
Cast: Andy Lau Tak-Wah, Teddy Robin, Norman Tsui Siu-Keung, Rosamund Kwan Chi-Lam, Sandy Lam Yik-Lin, Che Ling, Chin Kar-Lok, Yuen Woo-Ping, Wu Ma, Chung Fat, Shing Fui-On, Walter Tso Tat-Wah, Corey Yuen Kwai
The Skinny: Action/heist flick that's inconsequential and unimportant, but also an amusing bit of minor eighties entertainment.
by Kozo:

Andy Lau faces off against both Teddy Robin and Norman Tsui Siu-Keung in this action/heist pic from director Brandy Yuen. Lau is Charlie Chan (no, not that Charlie Chan), who's hired by a local insurance company to guard the Koran, a holy artifact which is probably not the famed Muslim religious document. However, many factions are angling to get their hands on the Koran, including famous sharpshooter Ma (Norman Tsui) and renowned gentleman's thief Cho Fei-Fan (Teddy Robin). Assisting Cho is his daughter Sandy Lam, while Rosamund Kwan shows up as a mysterious beauty who captures Charlie Chan's eye.

The script for this film is uneven and inconsequential, which is par for the course for eighties Hong Kong Cinema. Typically, the idea was to throw a passable amount of effort into the screenplay, while reserving all the major effort for the action sequences. That seems to be the case here, and director Brandy Yuen and action director Yuen Wah do their jobs quite well. The action, while filled with stunt doubles and obvious match cuts, is entertaining and probably a good enough reason for some HK Cinema fans to tune in. Particular note should be given to Teddy Robin's body double, who's obviously a few feet taller than the famed midget maven. Casting Robin as a Yoda-sized kung-fu master seems a prescient move—except there are probably only six people worldwide who like Teddy Robin more than Yoda. He's more annoying here than anything else, though nobody in the film turns in anything above an average performance.

Not that there was really that much to work with, because there isn't. Released in Hong Kong's box-office heyday, Three Against the World likely fulfilled all its goals. The action is entertaining, the tone light, and the characters egregiously honorable. Yep, this is a film where everyone makes their intentions known in the first ten minutes. Right away, Ma and Cho basically announce to Chan that they intend to steal the Koran. Chan dares them to steal the prized object, which leads to all sorts of friendly buddy/enemy banter and even a wacky piano duet between Andy Lau and Teddy Robin. Nobody seems to care that lives and/or money are on the line. In the end, the heist and the chase are all in good fun, which is probably why the it's easy to forgive the film's numerous flaws, the main one being that this is simply not that good a movie. Still, for minor entertainment, it's a pleasant enough time-killer. (Kozo 2002)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Joy Sales (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
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image courtesy of Fortune Star Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen