Carry On Pickpocket
MEGA STAR
 
Starring:
Directed By:
Sammo Hung
Year:
1982
Run Time:
96mins
Producer: Mega Star
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Languages:
CANTONESE 5.1, Mandarin 5.1
Subtitles:
Removable Chinese (S+T), English
W/S Subtitles:
No
Ratio:
2.35:1 Non Anamorphic
Region:
NTSC 0
Genre:
Modern Day Kung-Fu / Comedy - IIB
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MOVIE
9/10

Too many times than I can remember, I've sat down to watch a highly praised HK movie, only to be let down - The bad taste The Blade and A Man Called Hero left in my mouth made me despair of modern Kung Fu films, and yearn for the good-old days ...
So, with this in mind, I ordered Carry On Pickpocket, a 1982 Sammo Hung movie I knew less than nothing about, and hoped for the best. I have to be honest here - when I first watched this I felt mildly disappointed.

Unlike Hung's best efforts, such as The Prodigal Son and The Victim, Carry On Pickpocket's plot tends to drag in places, and as such, loses the momentum it creates early on. Thankfully, the pace soon picks up again and creates a very satisfying finale to an extremely enjoyable movie. Actually, the film as a whole seems to improve with each subsequent viewing, and I came to appreciate different elements each time.

Rice-Pot (Sammo Hung) and Chimney (Frankie Chan) are two expert thieves who make their living using their well-honed pick-pocketing skills. Unfortunately, Chimney falls foul of a local gangster and is "persuaded" to steal 200 ID Cards for him or end up losing more than just his good looks. This is only the tip of the iceberg and many a double-cross occur before the final reel...

PICTURE
8/10

Apart from the opening scene, which contains a distracting number of scratches, the print thereafter is reasonably clean. Unfortunately, due to the prints age, speckles and scratches are prevalent throughout, though I never found this distracting.
Detail is excellent, with no artifacting or colour bleeding present, although the darker scenes appear a bit too bright in places.
Overall, I was very happy with the transfer, and I can't imagine you'd be able to find this print looking any better.

SOUND
6/10

Not a particularly striking 5.1 remix, as mono sound is sent to each speaker , but that's not such a bad thing. The audio comes through each speaker without any tinniness, and whilst sounding harsh at times, does the job well.

SUBTITLES
7/10

Although there are occasional grammatical errors, the Subs. are otherwise clear, very readable, and translate all of the verbal jokes well.

PACKAGING
4/10

If I'd seen this in a shop, I probably wouldn't have given it a second look. Why Media Asia put a picture of a SWAT team on the front, when the film contains nothing of the sort, is beyond me.
The overall sleeve design looks pretty muddled with the aforementioned SWAT team picture , a poor quality shot of Sammo and Frankie, and what appears to be a severed hand(!?!) jumbled together on the front cover.

EXTRAS
4/10

The theatrical trailer, 10 chapter stops and trailers for Return Of The Lucky Stars, Best Of The Best and Fatal Vacation.
Not exactly groundbreaking, but it makes change from the usual Prodigal Son and Eastern Condors trailers found on every other Sammo Hung DVD.

CONCLUSION
8/10

Whilst not being in the same class as The Prodigal Son or Eastern Condors, Carry On Pickpocket still has a lot to offer. I particularly enjoyed the smaller touches Sammo incorporated into the movie, such as the nightclub waiter who's just too funky for his own good, and Rice-Pots' attempts to woo Deannie Yip with a pair of bread rolls!

Carry On Pickpocket contains enough action, comedy and charm to wipe the floor with most recent releases, and definitely warrants a place in any self-respecting HK film fans collection.

MOVIE 9/10
PICTURE
8/10
SOUND
6/10
SUBTITLES
7/10
EXTRAS
4/10
MENUS
6/10
PACKAGING
4/10
OVERALL 8/10