“KNOCKABOUT”, the fast and furious kung fu comedy classic directed by Sammo Hung, on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK, from a brand-new 2K restoration as a part of the Eureka Classics range.
“KNOCKABOUT” is one of the most hilarious, LOL, hardcore, old-school, kung fu flicks you’ll ever see, and among the few scoring a coveted rating from KFK…this is one you definitely DO NOT want to miss! Available today, Monday 25th April. Order yours NOW, from Eureka Video or Amazon!
Sammo gifts his long-time collaborator Yuen Biao the starring role as “Yipao/Little John”. In the trinity of Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao, Biao is probably considered the most acrobatic, often combining those talents with some incredible kicking skills, making him the perfect performer for this film’s action sequences.
Younger brother of Shaw Brothers legend Lau Kar-leung, Lau Kar-wing, plays the ruthless “Jia Wu Dao/ Silver Fox”. Lau Kar-wing is a successful martial arts actor and director in his own right, having started at a young age in Kwan Tak-hing‘s Wong Fei Hung movies. He had previously worked alongside Sammo Hung in “Dirty Tiger, Crazy Frog” and “Odd Couple“.
Bryan “Beardy” Leung Kar Yan stars as “Taipo/Big John”. A regular star of 1970’s and 80’s kung fu films, Beardy is probably best known for his roles in “Odd Couple”, “The Victim”, and “Legend of a Fighter“. He also appeared in Donnie Yen’s “Ip Man 3“.
A true legend of Hong Kong martial arts cinema, Sammo Hung directs and stars as “Fatty Beggar”.
Notable regulars of 1970’s kung fu movies Lee Hoi-sang, Karl Maka, Mars, and Chung Fat all make appearances.
Brothers Yipao and Taipao are a couple of down- on-their-luck conmen. After getting soundly defeated by the kung fu master, Silver Fox, the brothers realise it would be in their own self-interest if they learn how to fight, and they ask him to train them.
Unfortunately, their new master is actually a ruthless killer, and when the brothers realise this, one of them is murdered. To get revenge, the surviving brother must learn a unique form of kung fu from an unlikely source, a beggar who just happens to be a master fighter!
Knockabout: Original HK Trailer
Knockabout sets out its cards with some opening scenes of comical confidence tricks.
Nothing like a Gambling Den Fight Scene to Kick things off…
Even the con men pair of Yipao and Taipao try to trick each other out of their ill gotten gains. It is Sammo Hung as the Fat Beggar who has the last laugh though, outsmarting them both, setting up our first fight scene in a gambling den.
The Choreography is Hard-Hitting, Acrobatic, Funny & Hugely Entertaining!
The choreography is hard hitting, acrobatic, funny, and hugely entertaining, whetting the appetite for the delights to come.
Yuen Biao & Bryan Leung’s Supreme Screen-Fighting Skills Sell every Strike, Kick & Block
The first encounter between Yuen Biao, Bryan Leung and Lau Kar Wing is a slice of classic movie kung-fu fighting. Although used to establish that Lau Kar Wing is the superior martial artist, it is Yuen Biao’s and Bryan Leung’s supreme screen fighting skills that sell every strike, kick and block.
Defeated by Silver Fox: Fight Clip
An amusing scene involving Yuen Biao using his body as a footbridge is just one of many asides in this film that demonstrate his incredible physicality. Bryan Leung literally walking Yuen Biao’s plank!
An Abundance of Crisp, Traditional Kung Fu on Display…
When our bumbling heroes begin training to improve their kung fu skills, it is a clever conceit to have Leung specialise in fist techniques, and Biao to hone his kicking. It not only plays to each actor’s strengths, but also allows for some crisp, traditional, kung fu choreography when they combine forces to fight.
Even Number: Fight Clip
Veteran Hong Kong stuntman, Mars aka Cheung Wing-fat gets a great cameo to show off his notable, screen-fighting skills against Lau Kar Wing.
It’s over an hour into the film before Sammo Hung really gets to show that he is as skilled as any of his co-stars.
Sammo Hung’s Acrobatics are Incredible given his Burly Frame
The training and fight scenes particularly showcase Sammo’s incredible acrobatic abilities, made all the more surprising due to his burly frame.
De Rigueur Training Sequences are Eye-Popping to this Day
The de rigueur training sequences, especially one involving somersaulting whilst jumping in a skipping rope, are, to this day, jaw-dropping to witness.
Yuen Biao also impresses performing kung fu forms out in the countryside, much like Jackie Chan in “Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow” or “Drunken Master“.
One of THE Most Spectacular, Kung-Fu Finales of the Era…!
It all builds up to pay off in one of the most spectacular kung fu finales of the era. The choreography is a splendid mix of traditional Chinese martial arts, astonishing acrobatics, slapstick comedy, and classic Sammo Hung fluid, hard-hitting fight sequences.
You will marvel at the flips and tricks and wonder how they managed to perform everything without suffering several broken bones!
“Knockabout” is one of my all time favourite kung fu films. For me it is up there with its peers such as “Drunken Master” or “Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow”.
There are many reasons it works so well. The comedy is genuinely funny, the dynamic between the four main characters is spot on, the plot twists are simple yet inventive, the pacing is perfect, and the action is incredible. It all adds up to one of the most entertaining kung fu films ever made. If it had a weapons fight scene, this would almost be the perfect template for the old-school style Sammo Hung movie.
I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this classic, made all the more enjoyable thanks to the high definition presentation on Blu-ray. There are two versions of the film. The export version has audio commentary from Mike Leeder and Arne Venema, whilst the slightly longer, Hong Kong cut features commentary from Frank Djeng.
The disc also includes archival interviews with Sammo Hung, Bryan “Beardy” Leung Kar-yan and a fascinating piece from Grandmaster Chan Sau Chang, aka “The Monkey King”, a master of Monkey Style kung fu.
A particularly entertaining extra is a promotional clip featuring Sammo Hung putting Yuen Biao through his paces, much like one of the training scenes in the movie itself.
This one is truly deserving of the title “all-time classic”!
- Lau Kar-wing is the younger brother of famous martial arts action director and star, Lau Kar-leung. Being sons of Lau Cham, a martial arts master who studied under Lam Sai-wing, pupil of the legendary Chinese folk hero, Wong Fei-hung, they both became masters of Hung Gar Kuen.
- Known as “Monkey Fist” in Japan.
- Leung Kar-yan had no actual formal martial arts training and learned the majority of the skills on film jobs, much of it from action director Lau Kar-leung.