US Release Date: 04-08-2005
Directed by: Stephen Chow
- Stephen Chow, as
- Wah Yuen, as
- Qiu Yuen, as
- Kwok Kuen Chan, as
- Brother Sum
- Siu Lung Leung, as
- The Beast
- Dong Zhi Hua, as
- Chiu Chi Ling, as
- Xing Yu as
Kung Fu Hustle
Kung Fu Hustle is hilarious….if you're six years old! The level of humor is equal to your average Road Runner cartoon or a Three Stooges movie. People get hit, kicked, punched, thrown through walls and chopped up (but all without blood or gore), in an attempt to make you laugh. Only when the antics slow down and the movie is spoofing traditional Kung Fu films without all the cartoony violence does it ever produce any real laughs.
The story is definitely a spot on spoof of almost every Kung Fu movie ever made. A group of vicious mobsters attempt to take over a poor slum. Unbeknownst to the mobsters, several of the poverty stricken denizens of this particular slum are secretly Kung Fu masters. In fact, as it turns out, a lot of them are Kung Fu masters, all with their own unique fighting style. Also, as is always the way with these movies, there's a young man who was born with an innate martial arts ability that is just waiting to surface.
Visually the movie is impressive, for a little while, but the fanciest computer generated graphics in the world still get tiring when that's all you're given. I mean I'm old enough to remember when Kung Fu movies meant people actually did Kung Fu, without wires or CGI to aid them. Today, they could make George W. Bush look like a Karate expert.
Along with the 'hilarious' slapstick, the movie also contains some even funnier gay jokes, cause you know, someone's gay, that's gotta be funny! In fact, the whole movie is filled with the kind of titter behind your hand sense of humor that most of us outgrow in childhood. Just about the only thing missing is a good dose of fart jokes.
I have a theory about this movie and why it's receiving so many rave reviews from so many other critics. It's because it's foreign and includes subtitles. If Rob Schneider remade this movie, word for word, shot for shot, but in English, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that people would be standing in line to complain about how stupid it all was. Somehow, being in a foreign language gives it a certain cachet of respectability.
Kung Fu Hustle
Yes this movie is stupid and definitely has a juvenile sense of humor. I still enjoyed it. Scott didn't seem to appreciate the sense of wonder and imagination that went into it. As over-the-top and cartoony as the action is it is also creative and inspired at times. I especially liked the Kung Fu musicians that launched an arsenal of weapons by strumming across a large stringed instrument.
Kung Fu Hustle is mindless eye candy with some funny, if infantile, humor (“I thought the Lion's Roar was a myth"). It is also whimsical and imaginative and a great spoof of martial arts movies. I don't know if the fact that it is subtitled has influenced critics in appreciating it more or not. To me it would work in any language. After all Road Runner cartoons and Three Stooges movies probably translate well into other languages too.
Kung Fu Hustle
I have learned to appreciate Patrick’s approach to movies. He understands that films are of different genres, time eras, and aimed at different age groups. They must be viewed accordingly. Kung Fu Hustle is very much a childish film. It sets out to be one, and as such, it succeeds whole heartedly.
I laughed throughout the whole movie. It starts out like a take on Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal video, and then becomes a slapstick comedy. I loved the slum queen. She kicks everyone’s ass, especially her husbands. She is politically incorrect. One of the Kung Fu masters is gay, and she shouts at him, “You might be good at Kung Fu, but your still a faerie!”
This is a kids movie Scott. You need to appreciate it for what it is, and not complain about what it is not. I laughed my ass off when Sing kept getting stabbed, and then the snakes fell on him. This movie is a riot. Patrick has always been in touch with his inner child. I have children to watch these kinds of movies with. Somehow Scott, you need to learn to appreciate juvenile humor.
Photos © Copyright Sony Pictures Classics (2005)