I'd have to say it exceeded them. Sure, it was going to be straight-up 70's basher shlock....
Except it isn't. It's more so. From the first moments, the movie is very, VERY 70's. Not just the wockicha-wockicha soundtrack, but the whiplash-inducing jump cuts, the ZOOOOOOMing in for reaction closeups, and dear lord in heaven the clothes. Obviously, an action movie from the 70's is going to have these touches, but it seems like KNIGHT-ERRANT is truly, madly, deeply committed to the era of its birth. It wasn't a conscious decision on the filmmaker's part - "hey let's make this thing ULTRA-70's, it'll be a hoot for people watching it in 40 years" - but there's no denying the effect is there. This movie wasn't made to be a work of art, it was made to entertain, and it does, and even more so for its bone-crushing embracing of its times.
Wang Yu is a good-guy cab driver, quick to hand out an ass-whuppin' to anyone who needs it, but he's not the target of this pretty standard revenge story. The Japanese baddies (including Kurata Yasuaki) are after Wang Yu's dad for his part in their father's disgrace and seppuku back in WWII - Wang Yu is just in their way. For much of the movie's first half we watch the three antagonists train under the tender tutelage of the true star of the film (or at least the co-star), Tse Gam Guk.
And Tse is the real reason this movie is more than just "okay, not bad." A portly old lady in a kimono laughing off being repeatedly run over by a car (WHILE IT'S HAPPENING!) makes ANYTHING better. While not the level of craziness you'll find in MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE, Tse's "Lady with a iron fist!" [sic] delivers the level of crazy you expect from a mid-70's Wang Yu pic.
Lots of laughs, lots of fun, and some intense brawling make this one worth owning. Listen for some instrumental Carpenters and Van Morrison!
NOTE: If you're in the occupational safety business, the lumber mill sequences will give you a heart attack. You've been warned.