Lucky Encounter: Paranormal Absurdity

Year: 1992
Directed By: Johnnie To Kei-Fung
Written by: Yuen Kai-Chi
Produced by: Catherine Hun Ga-Jan
Cast: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Kent Cheng, Chen Pak-Lam, Anthony Wong and Song Lei

A little ghost boy killed under tragic circumstances by a greedy and selfish uncle seeks the help of two bumbling men.

Lucky Encounter is a mess of a film. Not to suggest that ”messy” films can’t be entertaining. Lucky Encounter is quite entertaining if you like the Hong Kong variety of humor. A type of humor can be a ”hit or miss” with us foreigners. The premise of Lucky Encounter starts by like an odd blend of Home Alone and Casper before going a different direction. Lucky Encounter has a tone of a children’s film, yet the humor can be vulgar enough to make you think it isn’t. An idiosyncratic thing that is quite natural to Hong Kong movies. Most of the jokes are slapstick and a very Hong Kong variety of puns. These kinds of puns tend to be the most esoteric part of Hong Kong cinema. The slapstick starts to challenging your suspension of disbelief when the film starts to bend the paranormal in such crazy and random ways for its plot. I know Lucky Encounter is meant to be a wacky film that you aren’t supposed to think too hard about. But, I couldn’t help but feel the writers were getting too liberal with how absurd they wanted the paranormal elements to be. And way too much time is spent on an unnecessary romantic subplot, time which could have been used to develop the ghost boy Boba Ma and the two main leads, King and Meng. A mediocre offering whose entertainment value depends on how much Hong Kong comedy is appealing to you.

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