After saving the leader of revolutionary group The Heaven and Earth Society, lovable rogue Wilson Bond (Stephen Chow) is tasked with stealing a valuable book belonging to the Empress Dowager, mother of the King; it's a mission that sees Wilson almost turned into a eunuch, becoming romantically involved with Princess Jianning, saving the king's life, battling evil martial arts expert O'Brian, and uncovering a plot by the Dragon Sect to overthrow the Ching dynasty.
Chinese humour often leaves me baffled and with my DeltaMac DVD having some of the worst subtitles imaginable (poorly translated and often on the screen for a fraction of a second) I fully expected Stephen Chow martial arts comedy Royal Tramp to be an extremely frustrating and ultimately disappointing affair; rather surprisingly, it wasn't quite as bad as I had feared.
Even though I was often left confused by proceedings and much of the humour failed to make me laugh, I still had a reasonably fun time thanks to the totally bonkers nature of the film, the action kicking off in insane style with villain O'Brian (Sex and Zen star Elvis Tsui) laying waste to an army of assassins from the Heaven and Earth society, impaling them on sharpened bamboo poles, pulling them apart, and even ripping off one poor guy's cranium!
This level of craziness continues throughout, with numerous gags about eunuchs and penises, a kung fu style that allows access to the victim's nipples, another that causes the victim's bones to dissolve, some very silly fight scenes with lots of flying through the air and flapping fabric, a pair of female bodyguards (the lovely Fennie Yuen and Vivian Chan) who used to be Siamese twins and who now speak and act in unison, an attack by flying death cymbals(!), and a suitably OTT death for the villain that sees him not only impaled on a statue (the tip emerging from his groin) but also skewered in the head by a sword.
In addition to the lovely twin bodyguards, the film also features eye-candy in the form of the gorgeous Chingmy Yau (Naked Killer) as Princess Jianning, stunning Sharla Cheung as the Empress Dowager, and Brigitte Lin as her evil stand-in, who is seen escaping at the end of the film, but vowing to return (for Part II!).