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搏命單刀奪命搶 (1979)
Odd Couple

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 06/25/2010
Summary: Weapons at their best...

With its dream cast, Odd Couple is a classic kung fu film with some of the best weapon-work you'll ever see on screen. Sammo Hung and Lau Kar-Wing shine as they display their mastery of the sabre and spear in scene after scene. The choreography is top-notch, and just when you thought you'd seen it all, Leung Kar-Yan enters and is absolutely blistering with the kwan dao. For overall weapon work, I think this might even surpass Liu Chia-Liang classic "Legendary Weapons of Kung Fu" in quality. There are a couple parts that are very under cranked, but that can be forgiven looking at the overall brilliance otherwise. Some good comedy as well, especially the scene with the two Peking Opera fighters and the choreography set to the traditional stage instruments. Very inventive and funny. If you can afford it by now, get as quality a version as is available, most likely the Hong Kong Legends DVD. It's well worth the addition to your library.


Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 07/27/2006
Summary: GOOD!!

Dandan has explain the basic plot.

Firstly with the bad, i felt the rapport between the masters and students was a bit too quick to make it believable, but i do understand the movie always aimed to run 1.5 hours. The other critisim is the sped up action. It doesnt occur all the time, but i wonder if they did this on purpose to bring a sense of it being funny or was it there way of past forwarding the repetitive fight scenes??

The good, the performances from the main actors is top notch. Sammo Hung and Lau Kar Wing are highly talented in kung fu and it shows. The comedy parts did bring some laughs. I have to say, Sammo doesnt look TOO LARGE in this film, he probably looks as fit as he ever was. And just when you think the movie will end, it goes on for a little bit longer!!

Worth watching

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 03/08/2006
Summary: great stuff!!!

sammo hung and lui chia yeung star in duel roles as two martial arts masters who compete with each other on a yearly basis, but their duels always end in a draw as their friendship is too strong. they realise this and decide to test themselves by taking on a student, who will compete against each other in ten years time...

this was great; excellent displays of martial arts and acrobatic prowess, combined with a great sense of humour and fun.

highly recommended...

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 08/20/2005
Summary: One of the best old-school martial arts films

Sammo Hung and Lau Kar Wing are the Master of Swords and the Master Of Spears respectively. Every year for 15 years they have duelled and it's always been a draw. In the 15th year, each refrains from a fatal blow and they realise they can't kill each other because they've become (sort of) friends. The solution is to each train a student - since the students won't know each other, they should be able to kill each other no problem! In a stroke of genius, each actor plays his enemy's student, meaning that we get to see each demonstrate their remarkable skills with both weapons!

The "high concept" film is a great excuse for almost non-stop fight scenes and some clever comedy. The humour is quite subtle and dark, much classier than many of the other kung-fu comedies of the era (though Dean Shek brings the tone right down when he appears - I don't know why but it seems like it was mandatory for him to have a role in kung fu comedies at the time). Both lead actors give hilarious performances in their master and their student roles, with some inspired moments. They are no less impressive when they fight - truly two masters at the peak of their art, with some exceptional choreography. The film has a "real" villain in the form of Leung Kar Yan, who is also in fantastic fighting form.

The Odd Couple comes in the middle of Sammo Hung's run of classic films, and earns place in the ranks of all time classics that includes HEROES OF THE EAST, THE VICTIM, KNOCKABOUT and THE YOUNG MASTER. It was a special time for martial arts films, and unfortunately it's unlikely we'll ever see a period where so many talents are working in the genre again. All the more important then that these films are preserved for posterity, and the DVD from Hong Kong Legends is a vast improvement on the old Mei Ah disc in this respect. Unfortunately there are a few places where sound effects have been added to utilise the surround channels (pointless and distracting), but it's only a few times and other than that the disc is good.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: nomoretitanic
Date: 04/22/2001
Summary: Dazzling

This is a silly movie, not even its makers take their characters very seriously. Couple of the likable characters have died for laughs, and the revenge is played in a very comedic fashion too. Everything is an excuse for the weaponary battles and/or comedic gags.

The movie gives us four very likable main characters, played by Sammo Hung and Lau Kar-Wing and Sammo Hung and Lau Kar-Wing again. The two actors play two generations of bittersweet martial artist rivals. Both have near-identical personalities and both are competent martial artists. They battle at least three times in this movie which presents us with an obvious problem: after the first match, you know it's always going to be a tie. Every little action one character does is going to be performed again very shortly after by the counterpart. After a while it gets quite annoying. Everything gets predictable--if Sammo gets kicked, then you know he's gonna punch Lau Kar-Wing right after. There is no dramatic tension whatsoever and makes it hard to appreciate the fights on more than a technical level.

On the technical level they are great fights, except that the moves are way too contrived, for reasons mentioned above and Sammo gets very very undercranked--the moves are nothing we haven't seen in 20 other Sammo costume flicks.

Not to say that this is a bad movie, it's just too lighthearted to last a solid 90 minutes. The acting is still top-notch, as well as the comedy gags. Still it's nowhere near Spooky Encounter or Prodigal Son.

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 12/27/2000
Summary: Kung-fu Classic

The "Odd Couple" is a classic kung-fu movie, featuring Sammo Hung and Lau Ga Wing as rival masters, the King of Sword and the King of Spear, respectively. Also directed by Lau Ga Wing, it's got some of the silly, dated HK movie humor, but it also features some of the most stunning unarmed and weapons fighting on film. "Odd Couple" followed on the heels of "Drunken Master," ushering in the golden age of kung-fu films with a new sophistication that showcased a dynamic realism in speed, agility, movement and editing that was a departure from the stagey martial arts choreography of earlier films. Yes, there are still quite a few of the zoom in and zoom out, cheap camera effects, but with more continuity in the editing.

The elderly masters duel every 15 years to see who is the best. They end up in a draw whenever they compete. In order to continue their ritual, they each find a student to carry on the tradition of the sword and the spear. The aging masters' pupils are also played by Lau and Hung. The duos team up as master and disciple in an amusing twist.

There is the initial duel between masters and then the training of the students, leading to the duel between the disciples. Along the way, Leung Ka-Yan appears as an opponent from the past who had lost a duel to each of the masters. Now Leung is seeking to avenge his previous losses. Just when you think the film has finished its assortment of action scenes, another comes barreling across the movie screen. You get exhausted just from watching the film's many fight scenes. The fights are excellent examples that show why Sammo is one of the true masters of top flight martial arts choreography. So when you get tired of some of the lame modern day action films, it's good to have a movie like "Odd Couple" in your DVD/VCD library for that rainy day or when you want to introduce newcomers to a real kung-fu movie.