Owl and Bumbo

Wow – Sammo Hung and Michelle Yeoh – two of HKs greatest action stars in the same film! What a treat this film should be . . . right? Well, as the commercial goes – not exactly. For the most part, the only memorable thing about this film is that it was the very first sighting of Michelle in a HK film.

Michelle was born in Ipoh, Malaysia and later went to study in England. Later she came back to Malaysia and was pressured by her mother to enter the Miss Malaysia contest. Much to her surprise, she won at the age of 21. This brought her to the attention of D&B films and they put her in a commercial with Jackie Chan. The commercial got a good reception and D&B then had Michelle star in this film. Actually not star  – she has the fourth amount of screen time in the film. And she has no action scenes. This was before Michelle became the Goddess of HK action.

The film itself is really a slight effort from Sammo – it just doesn’t go anywhere. It has a few good moments – such as Sammo doing a nice soft-shoe routine and a bit of action – but for the majority of the film it just wanders about without any focus whatsoever.
Sammo (Bumbo) and George Lam (Owl) are partners in crime and they scam some triad big shot out of a load of money and decide to retire. Three years later they both receive letters from Stanley Fung in which he informs them that he has proof of all their criminal activity and unless they do exactly what he says – he will turn it over to the cops. Fung is an ex-cop himself and is trying to get the goods on the same triad leader that Sammo and George scammed. Sounds good so far, but it never takes off.
So the first thing he has them do is report to a social services center where they are trying to teach young kids the skills to get jobs. Deannie Yip is the administrator and Michelle is one of the teachers. The kids are a bunch of surly beasts and the film quickly devolves into To Sir with Love as they straighten the kids out. And Sammo romances Deannie and George takes up with Michelle. And until the last fifteen minutes of the film the plot to get the triad leader is forgotten. For the most part very dull stuff – except for a good Sammo fight near the end.
Fung, Yip and Sammo
Michelle doesn’t get to do any fighting – in fact they have her crying her eyes out because the kids are being nasty to her! Do some Wing Chun on them Michelle  -show them who is the Madam in the class! Yes Madam.
The good thing to come out of this film is that she became a friend of Sammo. And the next year when Sammo and Dickson Poon (head of D&B) came up with the idea of doing a film about two tough female cops, Sammo remembered that Michelle had a dance background and thought to himself – “well if she can dance – we can fake having her fight”. Michelle took it from there – decided that she didn’t want to fake it and a star was born.

My rating for this film: 5.0