Champions, The (1983) Review

"The Champions" Chinese VCD Cover

"The Champions" Chinese VCD Cover

Literally: Disturbance Ox
Director: Brandy Yuen Chun-Yeung
Writer: Brandy Yuen Chun-Yeung, Sit Chi-Hung
Producer: Raymond Chow Man-Wai
Action Director: Brandy Yuen Chun-Yeung, Yuen Sun-Yi
Cast: Yuen Biao, Sam Hui Koon-Kit, Dick Wei, Cheung Kwok-Keung, Moon Lee Choi-Fung, Yuen Wah

By Vic Nguyen

A mischevious country boy, who after many amusing situations, becomes Hong Kong’s soccer king.

This early Yuen Biao vehicle is an entertaining blend of light comedy and some of the best soccer sequences ever commited to film. Here, Ah Biao stars as an acrobatic country hick from the sticks who must flee out of town after inadvertantly injuring a wealthy socialite during an innocent competition. While exploring the area, he runs into a soccer team who discovers his talents, and subsequently joins the team.

Despite the martial arts adept cast, there is little to no fistacuff duels in this film, instead, the action all involves well choreographed soccer games that are every bit as exhilirating. Yuen Biao, at the prime of his career, gives a fun performance, while Dick Wei provides a great portrayal as the arrogant villain. An underrated gem that unfortunately does not receive the attention it deserves (probably due to the fact that the most readily available version is the Rainbow Audio VHS, is a travesty. The image is cropped to death, and the film itself is edited. An uncut version can be found on the VCD)

Vic Nguyen’s Rating: 8.5/10

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