Starring: Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, leung Kar yan, Lau Kar Wing, Lee Hoi San, Mars
Director: Sammo Hung
Knockabout is a 1979 kung fu movie from Director Sammo Hung which also stars himself with fellow Peking opera brother Yuen Biao. The movie as a great cast, bringing Shaw Brothers actor Lau Kar Wing into the picture (Something Sammo did quiet a lot). The movie as many great fight scenes, with Yuen Biao performing some of the best stuff ever on screen and a training sequence that is unbelievable to watch. The domestic Hong Kong theatrical release of Knockabout’ ran from 12 – 25 April, 1979, taking HK $2,830,519.
The film follows two con artist brothers, Yipao (Yuen Biao) and Taipao (Bryan Leung). One day they are cheated out of their ill-gotten gains in an encounter with Jia Wu Dao (Lau Kar Wing). They try to fight him, to retrieve their money, but are defeated, so they ask him to train them, hoping to become the best fighters in the city. After surpassing the fighting skills of “ordinary people”, Yipao soon discovers that Jia Wu Dao is a murderer. When he realises his secret has been revealed, Jia Wu Dao attempts to kill Yipao, but Taipao blocks the fatal blow and is killed in his place. Yipao escapes and plots how he will avenge his brother’s death. He encounters a fat beggar (Sammo Hung) and, impressed by his kung fu, he asks takes the beggar to become his new kung fu master. After extensive training, the beggar asks Yipao to go and get him some wine. As he is about to return with the wine, Yipao encounters Jia Wu Dao again, and they fight, but Yipao’s skill is insufficient. The fat beggar and Yipao then team up, using the monkey style kung fu, against Jia Wu Dao’s snake style. As their fight moves outside of the wine shop, the fat beggar and Yipao defeat Jia Wu Dao, killing him with spiked vines, finally avenging Taipao’s death. The fat beggar reveals that he is an undercover detective trying to arrest criminals, particularly Jia Wu Dao.
A very enjoyable movie, Yuen Biao and Leung Kar yan work very well on screen together both delivering great kung fu and also good comic acting. Lau kar Wing plays a villain who pretends to be the good guy in the movie, but really turns out to be a wanted man. The final fight scene between him and Yuen Biao is a great watch, bot going toe to toe with Biao performing some excellent acrobatic work, showing a great range of kicks and flips. When Sammo enters the final fight also, him and Biao show there great chemistry by performing Monkey Fist to try and defeat lau Kar Wing.
Also as I mentioned before, the training sequence between Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung is excellent, i am not sure i have seen many better, due to Biaos acrobatics, great stuff.
My review is also on the sammohung.co.uk website.