Hong Kong Cinema

Pedicab Driver

Pedicab Driver
  • Made: 1990
  • Format: VHS
  • Release Date: 10/6/1996
  • Company: Made in Hong Kong
  • Length: 91 mins
  • Picture: Widescreen
  • Language: Cantonese w/subtitles
  • Extras: None
  • Classification: 18


Sammo Hung


Sammo Hung, Lam Ching-Ying, Billy Lau, Liu Chia-Liang (Lau Kar Leung), Mok Siu Chong



Made in 1990, Pedicab Driver, is one of Sammo Hung's greatest films. Set in 1930s Macao (Portuguese colony close to HK) Samo plays the chief brother / leader of the rickshaw drivers. When one of his fellow riders (Mok Siu Chong) falls in love with a former prostitute the whole family of rickshaw riders come under threat from her former perverted pimp/triad boss and his henchmen. Sammo ends up waging a one-man war against the triad boss responsible. With some of the very best fight scenes of any of Sammo's films this ranks as one of his finest films.

Ok so now that we have dealt with the plot summary we should look at what the action is like. The film begins with a huge set piece ruck between the rickshaw drivers and the coolies (labourers). This is an excellent beginning to the film with Samo demonstrating every ounce of his talent.

There is some wonderful choreography and a real innovative flare in the scene that at one point even briefly parodies Star Wars. Always defying any possible physical limits Samo rushes through the one fight scene with more action than in 5 episodes of Martial Law.

Sammo vs Lau Kar Leung

Sammo takes on the legendary Lau Kar Leung

Later on in the film while escaping from the sex mad triad boss Sammo stops the whole film to fit in a set piece fight with Lau Kar Leung's casino owner. After watching scene I was totally blown away. This is well worth rewinding a good 5 or so times. I easily rank this amongst Sammo's to 10 fight scenes, if not my complete top 10 fights. Kar Leung belies his age to turn in a virtuoso performance (only really topped by Drunken Master II). The fight has Samo holding his own against Lau Kar Leung's Hung Gar style Kung Fu before losing out to his pole fighting. This duel is concluded as a draw, but it is a clear highlight of the film. NB. Sammo and Kar Leung have been directorial rivals throughout the 1970-80s from different film studios of Golden Harvest and Shaw Brothers. This fight scene is truly worthy of these two consummate directorial and martial arts experts.

Other notable fights are the long set piece ending where Sammo fights the pimp's bodyguards and the kick boxing trained Billy Chow. Whilst not quite reaching the heights of the earlier fight it still is an excellent scene in its own right. Billy Chow is a really impressive fighter (his part in Fist of Legend ranks higher though) and the fight is particularly interesting because of the height difference between him and Sammo. Also impressive here is the editing and camera work that makes for a really exciting fight. The action in this film cannot be faulted, and is of the highest quality.

This is an overall excellent film with a touching plot and some outstanding fighting. The tragic love story element is a little simplistic but done well. There is a nice small cameo from Erik Tsang, one of my favourite actors that should be used more. Once again the action manages to combines Sammo's trademark slapstick humour with brutal violence and lightning fast camera work. Totally recommended.