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
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
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