HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon
Benediction
Nezha Reborn
Evil Toons
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  Knockabout De-Biao
Year: 1979
Director: Sammo Hung
Stars: Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung, Lau Kar-Wing, Bryan Leung Kar-Yan, Karl Maka, Lee Hoi-Sang, Mars, Lau Tin-Chi, Lam Ching-Ying, Ho Pak-Kwong, Chung Fat
Genre: Comedy, Martial ArtsBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Little Boo (Yuen Biao) thinks he is onto a winner with the tiny nugget of gold he has found, and he visits the pawn shop seeking a reasonable price for it. Well, he gets a couple of coins, but then he is given a larger piece of gold by his cousin, Big Boo (Bryan Leung Kar-Yan) which he returns to the pawnbrokers with and is promptly tricked out of his due, apparently unbeknownst to him. He and Big Boo then divide the spoils, well aware that the gold was fake, but their habitual infighting means they lose track of the coin bag, not knowing it has been stolen and replaced with useless substitutes...

Naturally they don't find this out until they are at the local casino and trying to make a profit on their ill-gotten gains, but that was very much the tone of the first half of Knockabout, which appeared to take its cue from international Hollywood hit The Sting by depicting two characters for whom the world offers nothing but opportunities for as many cons as possible. But that is not what the film is remembered for, as it was the debut lead for the "Little Brother" to Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan, the former directing and choreographing as a helping hand to set Yuen on the path to stardom.

Unfortunately for Yuen, even in Asia he would always be in the shadow of Sammo and Jackie, and though they continued to assist each other's projects he would always be, if not a distant third in the public's affections, then never number one. But he had a secret weapon, which was that he was probably the best at kung fu out of all the trio of childhood friends, and if he was not, then he certainly had them beat where athleticism was concerned. Just watching Yuen in action in this and you will be frequently astounded at his agility, his multiple somersault party piece merely one in a whole repertoire.

So if you really wanted to see the human body pushed to its outer limits in the service of entertainment, martial arts connoisseurs would recommend you checked out a Yuen Biao movie, he truly was incredible. Knockabout was a good enough place to start, though it took half the movie to warm up and let rip with the most impressive fight sequences, as often with Sammo Hung directed films he frontloaded the story with broad comedy, and built up to the combat that could often be quite serious, though he would not entirely abandon the humour even after something very grave has occurred to one of the main characters. And naturally, the abundance of training sequences was spectacle in themselves.

The plot had it that Big and Little Boo are always out to make a fast buck, risking making our leads unsympathetic and only avoiding it thanks to almost everyone they meet doing the same. They contrive to be beaten up by Old Fox (Lau Kar-Wing in old age makeup), a mature gentleman who puts them in their place after yet another scheme goes wrong, but sensing an opportunity, they muscle their way into his life to persuade him to improve their kung fu. But Old Fox hides a secret, leading up to the first big twist, whereupon, aware the movie needed a star name, Sammo shows up as a beggar who wouldn't you know it? He has major skills in combat too, and can pass them on: cue more training montages. It was clear Yuen was trading on his physical resemblance to Bruce Lee at this point (same hairstyle), but keen to mark out his own singular style, and after watching his physical prowess here you will be exhausted. Music by Frankie Chan (with the odd borrowing).

[Eureka release this on Blu-ray with the following features:

Limited Edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling | Reversible sleeve design featuring original poster artwork | Two versions of the film presented in 1080p on Blu-ray from 2K restorations (Original HK Theatrical cut and the shorter Export Cut) | Original Cantonese mono audio | Optional English dubbed audio | Optional English Subtitles, newly translated for this release | Brand new feature length audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival) | Brand new feature length audio commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder & Arne Venema | Archival interview with Sammo Hung | Archival interview with Bryan "Beardy" Leung Kar-yan | Archival interview with Grandmaster Chan Sau Chang (aka The Monkey King), a master of Monkey Style kung fu | Deleted Scene | Trailers | PLUS: A Limited Edition collector's booklet featuring new writing by James Oliver.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 265 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Sammo Hung  (1952 - )

Hong Kong born actor, producer and director and one of the best known figures in Hong Kong cinema. Hung's large frame belies a formidable martial arts ability, and he's best known for his collaborations with Jackie Chan during the 1980s and more recently for his US TV show Martial Law.

Hung's acting career began at the age of 12 but it was Enter the Dragon that gave him his first high profile role. He starred in a continuous stream of kung fu movies throughout the seventies, and made his directing debut in 1977 with Iron-Fisted Monk. A series of now-classic martial arts comedies followed, all directed by and starring Sammo - Warriors Two, Encounters of the Spooky Kind, Prodigal Son, My Lucky Stars, Pedicab Driver. But his best loved pictures are those in which he appeared alongside Jackie Chan, including Project A, Wheels on Meals, Dragons Forever and My Lucky Stars.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: