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Film / Sixty Million Dollar Man

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In case if you're wondering, yes, this guy does indeed transform into toothpaste, a microwave oven, and a toilet seat as well.
Sixty Million Dollar Man (百變星君, literally meaning "Sing of a Hundred Transformations") is a 1995 comedy movie directed by Raymond Yip, starring Stephen Chow, Ng Man Tat and Gigi Leung.

Lee Chak-Sing (Chow) is the spoiled son of Lee Yat-Fai (Wong Yut-Fei), the head director of a university in Hawaii, doing typical spoiled rich boy things: wooing girls, playing pranks on anybody unlucky enough to run into him, and intimidating people to the point he is feared by the entire university, with the exception of Chung-chung (Gigi Leung) and her professor uncle Chang Sze (Elvis Tsui). Things change for him one day however, when he was found to be the biological son of mansion servant Tat (Tat, yeah) as a result of a one night stand with said head director's wife, causing him to lose inheritance to Lee's wealth. And, because he got caught dating with a girl who is actually the girlfriend belonging to the Yakuza leader Fumiko (Joe Cheng), he got killed in an explosion planted by Fumiko's top assassin, Mark (Charles Shen).


Despite the explosion incinerating everything but Sing's brain and mouth, there's one chance to bring Sing back to life: a project to construct a new body for a dead person using what few body parts that are left intact... at a reasonable cost of sixty million dollars. But neither Sing nor Tat has the money for that as Lee abandons both of them at their desperate moment... yet not all hope is lost, as Chang has the know-how to replicate the body reconstruction process for a much, more affordable price of six thousand dollars. Rebuilt with whatever his father and the professor could have, Sing is forced to leave for Hong Kong to not alert Fumiko of his resurrection, and adjusts to his new life as a cyborg. But one day, when he's hired to teach in one of the worst private high schools in Hong Kong, things are about to take a whole new turn for him...


If you think this sound like the premise for a very Troperiffic movie, it is. With Chow's signature mo lei tau comedy style and providing homages to many action movies of the time like RoboCop and The Six Million Dollar Man while trying to fit in as many tropes as possible, Sixty Million Dollar Man is filled with plenty of moments that range from hilarious to dramatic, a hallmark seen in many of Chow's movies.

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Sixty Million Dollar Man provides the following tropes:

  • Artificial Limbs: Sing is restored with these.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Sing's vocal cords are nowhere to be seen after the explosion, so how can he talk?!
  • Back from the Dead: Sing. As well as Mark.
  • Be the Ball: Sing bends Mark's body into the shape of a ball and plays basketball using him. Cue some broken bones for Mark afterwards.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: We never get to see any attempts by the delinquent students to harm Chung-chung, but after the school session ends, Chung-chung is revealed to also teach at the same school Sing does, and doesn't suffer the same Amusing Injuries Sing did there. Maybe it is either the school chairman's son is dating her and thus granted immunity by those students, or it has got to do with the fact nobody wants to mess with the niece of a university professor who performs human experiments.
  • Bland-Name Product: The name of the toothpaste Sing transforms into, Westerner Toothpaste (西人牙膏), is a parody of Darlie toothpaste (黑人牙膏).
  • Body Horror: Played for laughs when Chang and Tat try to rebuild Sing's body:
    • The first iteration of Sing's new head is a cube-shaped head with his original head textured all over it.
    • The first pair of arms Sing receives has one arm being disproportionately smaller than the other.
    • And Sing is finally rebuilt with two proper pairs of arms, and we say two pairs of arms because arms are the only limbs Chang can find, substituting arms in the place of legs. Fortunately he gets a proper pair of legs later on.
    • Sing's body is finally replicated and rebuilt! Except for his, um, "urinator". In other words, he has a pipe hose attached to his crotch.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Sing after he is rebuilt as a poor man's cyborg.
    • The delinquent students after a now-superpowered Sing mops the floor with them.
  • Bungled Suicide / I Cannot Self-Terminate: Sings tries to poison himself with floor cleaner but soap water comes out from his "urinator" instead. Electrocution? Doesn't destroy his cyborg body at all. Fall from a great height? Interrupted by his microchip power-up.
  • Came Back Wrong: As shown by the mishaps on rebuilding Sing above, special mention going to his "urinator". Luckily he gets a perfectly fine artificial body constructed, except for his "urinator".
  • Chekhov's Classroom: Chang talks about the theory behind artificial organs and the potential of the human brain's ability to transform into any object. Sing then gets restored using an artificial body, and then gains the ability to transform through inserting the transformation microchip into his body.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The ejecting toilet seat rocket prank. Used by Tat to escape the explosion planted by Mark.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Subverted with the guy with thick eyebrows Sing pranked back in the university. The guy shows up at Sing's wedding ceremony, but Sing notes that he no longer has the thick eyebrows. Cue the guy revealing to be a shapeshifting cyborg Mark.
  • Conflict Ball: Even though his body is destroyed in an explosion, Sing still foul-mouths at his rich "father", causing Lee to abandon him and Tat. Which gets lampshaded by Tat:
    Tat: Why can't you use your choice of words properly!?
  • Defeat Means Explosion: Mark's cyborg body explodes into black goop after he can't take the heat from being inside Sing's microwave form.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: The delinquent students after a newly-superpowered Sing teaches them a lesson. Hard.
  • Dismemberment Is Cheap: Double subverted. Sing is given new, perfect-functioning limbs, despite the earlier screw-up attaching arms as legs, and at some point his limbs become stiff, requiring oil to smooth his limbs functionality. And when he is inserted the transformation microchip, his limbs function perfectly.
  • Double Take: Tat notices what can be described as a pair of disembodied eyes supported by periscopes made out of human skin and looks around elsewhere, then glances back at the eyes and runs away in horror.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: After Sing gets blown up by a cyborg Mark, Sing transforms into a body of an old woman in an indestructible dress with the bonus of transforming into more lethal household appliances.
  • Everything's Better with Cows: Sing's mansion has a pet cow as a method of obtaining fresh milk for the mansion.
  • Eye for an Eye: How to teach water pack-dropping students a lesson? By threatening a pipe hose at them!
  • Eye Scream: At some point Sing drops his eyes to look for Chung-chung. Then one of the washroom attendees squashes his eyes flat, and then said eyes crawl back to him. A janitor notices Sing covering his face behind a newspaper, and Sing reveals his just reattached eyes, scaring the janitor.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Sing has upgraded to a household appliance-transforming cyborg! ...But he still contemplates on suicide, so Tat calls him out for not properly thinking about the many great things that power can be used for, like for example, infinite toothpaste.
  • Good Prosthetic, Evil Prosthetic: Sing's artificial body is completely human-like. Mark's artificial body, however, is all black and clearly synthetic.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • In his biology lecture, Chang dissects a cadaver (read: a human corpse) right in front of his class. We don't get to see the dissection in action apart from Chang's, but from the expressions of his students, it is indeed a disgusting sight.
  • Groin Attack:
    • When Sing is playing dead to ogle at Bonnie, he moves slightly, causing her finger to point at his crotch instead of his heart she marked an "X" on. She then stabs a needle at Sing's crotch. Ouch.
    • Taken Up to Eleven when the delinquent students catch him watering the plants with his "urinator"... and then pull it alongside Sing himself all over the school corridors.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Chang's lab features a body which is symmetrically cut into half. Not the lost your lower body variety, but literally one half of the body left.
    • The fate of the private school chairman's wife after Sing performs a chainsaw trick onto her, where she is also literally split into two halves.
    Chairman: Somebody, please get the halves of my wife and put them back together!
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Sing and Tat lays banana peels all over the stairs leading to Chang's basement lab. When they try to escape from his abominations, Tat slips on one of the banana peels.
  • Hollywood Homely: Chung-chung. Averted after the two-year time gap, where she looks really good as she is.
  • I Have No Son!: Lee abandons Sing and Tat after the former got killed in the explosion.
  • Immune to Bullets: Sing's new form dons a golden dress that is immune to gunfire.
  • Inner City School / Sucky School: The school Sing teaches in is populated by rich and extremely misbehaving delinquent students, viciously attacking any adult they see. The board of directors aren't any better, as they are only focused on profit. The students soon behave much more properly after seeing what a freshly-superpowered cyborg teacher does to them, as well as that board of directors being schooled by what said cyborg is capable of.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: Subverted. Sing chops off his hand to break Tat free from the handcuffs applied by Mark to allow Tat to escape using the ejector toilet seat, but Sing dies in the explosion.
  • Mad Scientist: Downplayed with Chang Sze. He may act like one but in fact is a good person, and willing to help Tat to rebuild Sing... somewhat.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Inverted. It's Mad Scientist's Ugly Niece: Chung-chung.
    • Played straight after the two-year time gap.
  • Microwave Misuse: How Sing destroys Mark's cyborg body. In the form of a giant microwave cooking Mark alive with heat enough to melt diamonds.
  • Morphic Resonance: Zig-zagged. Some of his transformations have Sing's face being shown, like him being the portrait of his toothpaste or his face textured all over a toilet seat, but others, like a rice cooker, an iron or a microwave, doesn't show his face at all.
  • Mugged for Disguise: A toothpaste Sing stumbles upon a guy in a zebra suit. It's implied that he scared that guy by being a talking toothpaste and then wears his suit.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: After his Power-Up, household appliances are made awesome by the sheer virtue of Sing's ability to transform into them.
    • He ''weaponizes'' household appliances against the delinquent students, utterly destroying any chances of them ruining Sing. He even uses them with devastating effect on Mark's henchmen as well as destroying a rebuilt Mark!
    Chang: Who said household appliances are useless?
    • He also manages to makes pop quizzes exciting.
  • Nausea Fuel: In-universe with Chang's dissection of a human corpse. Double subverted for Sing as he watched the dissection process with interest, only to reveal that he covered his eyes with pictures of eyes drawn, and when Sing opens his covers, he immediately faints at the sight of the dissected results.
  • Parasol Parachute: Sings opens a zebra-striped umbrella to slow his descent while holding Chung-chung after they launch from a circus cannon.
  • Parrying Bullets: Sing uses his spatula hand to return paintball shots back towards the delinquent students and the bullets of Mark's henchmen back towards them.
  • Plug 'n' Play Prosthetics: After his artificial body is properly built, Sing can walk and jump with no problem.
  • Plug 'n' Play Technology: More like throw a microchip into a cyborg's mouth 'n' play technology. Chang throws his newly-invented transformation microchip straight into Sing's mouth, and Sing immediately gains the ability to transform.
  • Protagonist Title: The Chinese title means "Sing of a Hundred Transformations".
    • Subverted for its English title. The human body rebuilding project costs sixty million dollars but Sing and Tat does not have the money to afford it, resorting to a six thousand dollar body from Chang. Mark does get access to it, however, which is the opposite of this trope.
  • Rule of Drama: Whenever Tat kneels, Sing faints because Tat is Sing's biological father. Which still doesn't explain why Sing faints when his fathers kneels. Exploited to horrifying effect by Mark, which puts Sing out of the fight and allowing him to kill both Sing and (nearly) Tat in an explosion.
  • Rule of Funny: Not a Stephen Chow movie without mo lei tau thrown into it.
    • Sing's unscathed mouth still talking is done for comedy... and then for drama.
    • A person literally split into half would be horrifying, but the private school chairman's wife comes out from one of Sing's magic tricks with no problem at first... and then her halves start hopping separately.
  • Saw a Woman in Half: Sing performs this trick onto the private school chairman's wife, but instead of cutting around the middle, he saws the box in half vertically... with the woman literally split into half while her respective halves hop towards different directions.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Chung-chung after the two year Time Skip.
  • Shout Out:
    • Read the title out loud. Now divide it by 10, and the answer is a TV show with a somewhat similar premise.
    • Another thing that comes to one's mind when Sing can be rebuilt is RoboCop.
    • Parodies of The Terminator can be seen here and there when Sing is upgraded into a transforming cyborg. Mark completely plays the Terminator part straight after he's rebuilt, however.
    • The parasol scene as Sing holds Chung-chung could be a reference to Inspector Gadget, which also has the same premise about a cyborg protagonist.
    • When the board of directors of the private school get sent to a mental hospital, they brought up The Terminator 3, Jurassic Park 4, and Jaws 5. note 
  • Spoiled Brat: Sing. He changes after he is rebuilt.
  • Squashed Flat: Sing's remote eyes get squashed by a random washroom user.
    • What happens to a cyborg Mark after Sing transforms into a giant iron to iron Mark.
  • Super-Persistent Missile: A cyborg Mark fires one that chases after Sing, and explodes as it hits him. Doesn't help that Sing was hiding behind a row of cars...
  • Swiss Army Appendage: Sing's arm can transform into a spatula, a water hose, a vacuum cleaner, and a meat cleaver.
  • Tempting Fate: Chang warns that Sing had his father isn't Lee, he would have been hated instead of feared. So Sings loudly says "my father isn't the university's head director!" to taunt Chang. Cue a bunch of hiding students appearing out of nowhere to beat up Sing. And Sing being revealed to be Tat's biological son instead of Lee's.
  • Two-Teacher School: Sing and Chung-chung are the only teachers seen in the private school. Justified as any teacher that tries to teach in that school would have either given up very easily or got badly hurt by the delinquent students' antics. Hopefully more teachers would come to teach there after Sing disciplines the students there.
  • Vicious Vac: Sing uses a vacuum cleaner to suck in the banana peel traps laid by a group of boys, and then suck in the boys' uniforms.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Sing can transform into household applications. Not as exciting as to, say, transforming into someone else.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: The basis of the movie, a project involving rebuilding a human body based on an undamaged brain of a dead person. Sing can't afford the project, so he is instead given the six thousand dollar treatment by Chang.
    • Fumiko can afford the project, and it rebuilds Mark into a killing machine.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: You would probably think that the ability to transform into household appliances is nothing too exciting. Well, wait until Sing makes cool uses out of it, especially weaponizing it!
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The corrupt chairman of the private school and his son tries to kick Sing out for wooing Chung-chung (and making their students behave), but Sing manages to frighten them (and get them sent to a mental hospital as a result!).


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