While working in New York, film extra Kwai (Lau) is met by his uncle with the news that his father in Hong Kong has died. As Kwai has been apart from the family for a while, it comes as something of a shock to him to find that he will inherit the multi-million-dollar company. There are two conditions though: firstly, he will be sharing ownership of the company with his estranged brother; secondly, he will have to work anonymously at the company office to ‘prove’ himself before he gets his inheritance. However, Kwai’s brother, Fu, hatches a plan to disgrace his brother and get full ownership of the company for himself. With this in mind, Fu hires three of the ineptest workers in the organisation to befriend Kwai and derail his charm offensive.
‘The Crazy Companies’ came right near the beginning of Andy Lau’s era of the romantic lead, a period which he still happily occupies over three decades later. Lau is young, awkward, but charming in this early opportunity to be the main protagonist, though he is given a full ensemble cast of regular Wong Jing players to help him out. Watching the nascent movie star and the familiar faces around him is probably the film’s biggest strength too, as, despite a decent premise, ‘The Crazy Companies’ is a bit of a slog.
‘The Crazy Companies’ has potential. The whole idea of the long-lost son inheriting the company and facing obstacles to prove himself could have worked. Yet the worst excesses of Wong Jing truly come to the fore and the pretence of having a plot gets rejected very quickly. Instead, we are treated to an episodic affair that appeals much more to a sense of nostalgia than a sense of humour. It’s almost like the worst of the Lucky Stars films, but without the action to look forward to (though there is a very brief skirmish at the beginning). It was a big box office hit on its release, features Chingmy Yau looking adorable and has some decent chemistry between the cast, but that’s not enough to drag the viewer through the ninety-minute running time.