Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Knockabout (1979)

Yuen Biao and Bryan Leung played a pair of brothers who cheated people. One day they met a master kung-fu who defeated them, so they asked him to be their teacher. They didn't know that their teacher had been a criminal wanted by the authorities. When Yuen Biao accidentally found out their teacher's secret, the teacher fought them both and killed Bryan Leung. Yuen Biao then looked for a better kung-fu teacher so he could avenge his brother.

Yuen Biao and Bryan Leung
After watching the movie for an hour, I felt so bored. The acting was over the top. The first fight in the casino, for example, when Bryan Leung went under the table and the henchmen beat him on his way out, this move was repeated for five times. It was too many. I think twice was enough to make the humour worked.

Yuen Biao, been introduced. 
Sammo Hung directed the movie. So I blamed him for using too many close-ups, with the actors trying to be funny by making facial expressions. It's like watching cheap soap operas.

However, the movie started to be very interesting after Sammo Hung took Yuen Biao as his student. Their relationship was like cat and dog at this stage so the teacher used as many uncomfortable methods as he could to punish his student. There was this scene when he punished his student to flip 10 times.

Sammo Hung's monkey style
The most incredible parts were the both rope jumping scenes: the stamina training and the final fight. Although at first it seemed to waste my time watching this movie, as soon as it got to the training sequence, it all paid off. This movie was a must see.

The beginning of the rope jumping scene
There was also a scene when Sammo Hung cooked Beggar's Chicken. It exactly like Gu Long described in Swordsman Journey (Wu Qing Bi Jian): a whole chicken - complete with feathers - was wrapped with clay, and put in a stove.  

Preparing Beggar's Chicken

No comments: