08 April 2012

Wheels on Meals

Motorcycling hoodlums
Hong Kong cinema, Barcelona, Peking Opera School, 80s fashion, comedy, romance, detective mystery, action, etc. Wheels on Meals is host to so many things I love that my fingers are trembling while I type. The 1984 movie was shot in Barcelona, directed by Sammo Hung, stars Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung, Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, and was co-written by Edward Tang.

Thomas (Chan) and David (Biao) are co-owners of a traveling kitchen. David cooks while Thomas takes and delivers orders on his skateboard. Moby (Hung) is a friend of theirs who is a recently promoted private eye, and his first case is to locate and identify a long-lost daughter, who turns out to be the current romantic interest of Thomas and David, Slyvia (Lola Forner, former Miss Spain). Sylvia poses as a hooker but is actually a pickpocket.

Thomas: Take a break, I'll ask her. David would really like to know, did you steal our money?
Sylvia: Yes.
Thomas: And those men's, too?
Sylvia: Yes.
David: Hey, don't be so rude.
Thomas: You do the asking, then.
David: You're so pretty, you can --
Thomas: What he means is, you can do well just being a hooker.
Neighbor's angry wife
Dance club scene!

The movie's merriment is its riches. It's not about shocking violence -- a quality increasingly requisite for contemporary action movies, even comedies -- it's about wild adventures and relatable characters. The action is joyous, the fights are inventive, surprising, and skillful. The comedy dialogue pops. The characters are loveably flawed and humorously clueless.

There's a moment when Moby questions a guy named Fatso and reminds him, straight to the fact, "You were Mr. Pimp on Hooker Street 18 years ago."

There's a castle, David dresses as Robin Hood, and the Three Musketeers are referenced during a fencing scene.
Skateboarding montage

Even the car chases are funny.
An elderly lady drives this grey Mitsubishi

Can't explain a joke, can't explain Wheels on Meals. It's the type of movie some people apologize for liking and blush when describing its plot. Its cheeriness infected me, and something about its characters' resilient optimism genuinely touched me. I feel like the 'plot' of my life doesn't make sense, not a big deal, and though these characters get themselves into messes, they never sink into hopelessness, but instead allow their circumstances to inspire them to find creative or daring avenues of escape. That's cool. And I like how they tease each other without judging, like in the end they're great friends to each other.

As for the title, from IMDb:
The reason that the film is titled "Wheels on Meals" instead of "Meals on Wheels" is because of superstition. Golden Harvest had produced two films beginning with "M",Megaforce and a film titled Menage a Trois, both of which were major flops. So the company's executives changed the title hoping this film would avoid the same problems, which it did. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow Wow and wow just stunning I'm telling all about that review. I totally surprised to saw this performance. It's made me inspired. Thanks