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I did the Kung Fu Hustle

Published April 23, 2005 in Movie Reviews
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of Sony Picture Classics
Kung Fu Hustle Better lay off the estrogen pills.
Hey All, I just got back in from viewing the latest Stephen Chow movie Kung Fu Hustle. Well, as most of you probably already know, this film is getting some great reviews from the critics. So, is Kung Fu Hustle great? Well, kind of, and let me tell you why.

If you have seen Shaolin Soccer, then you already know how Stephen Chow [aka the Chinese Buster Keaton] films go. They are extremely silly, but throw in some very original comedy and action to boot. Also, Stephen Chow is like Quentin Tarantino when it comes to the cast in his films. Every Stephen Chow film has tons of familiar faces that you have seen before; that is, if you have seen other Stephen Chow films. On that note, onto my Kung Fu Hustle review.

Kung Fu Hustle-The Plot

A hapless wanna be gangster, Sing [Stephen Chow], must overcome his inability to wield a knife and demonstrate his mettle in order to become a member of the notorious Axe Gang. During the beginning of Kung Fu Hustle we are introduced to the Axe Gang through a music sequence that shows the gang dancing on a dance floor while crime scene photos are displayed. The scene works to show that the Axe Gang has become the new controlling force in town. Personally, I loved this scene from the movie, as it reminded me a lot of Chicago.

The Axe Gang want to reign supreme by occupying the most coveted territory, which is a sacred street protected by an unlikely cast of characters, many of whom are highly skilled kung fu masters disguised as ordinary people. However, the Axe Gang does not realize this until Sing [Stephen Chow] unwittingly has the gang attack the rundown apartment building where the kung fu masters are hiding.

After several humorous attempts by the Axe Gang to remove the occupants of the decaying apartment building, they are forced to hire the best assassins including one that is known as the Beast. Multiple fights ensue that cause Sing to discover his true good nature and be the best kung fu master of them all.

Kung Fu Hustle Sometimes it takes two to the face to do the trick

Kung Fu Hustle-The Movie

I don't know which Stephen Chow film I like better, Kung Fu Hustle or Shaolin Soccer. However, I did appreciate that the fight scenes in Kung Fu Hustle were even more brutal with louder 'smack' and 'hit' effects to go with the action. This does not mean that the kung fu packed movie was only for action. Being that it is a Stephen Chow film, there were also scenes in Kung Fu Hustle that had me up in hysterics.

One of the scenes involves Sing as he tells a crowd he is only willing to fight one-on-one. Sing then decides to pick people to fight him from the crowd, but only picks those who look too old, too young, too small, or really short. Every time he does so his choice backfires, as the person he chooses is not all that he/she seems. Oh yeah, Sing is a horrible fighter.

The fact that Sing could not fight for almost the entire film was one of the major problems I had with this film. I love watching Steven Chow [himself] combine his kung fu with comedy, but he is unable to do so right up until he 'discovers himself' at the end of the film. Up until then, Steven Chow is just a nitwit trying to look tough.

However, other than that small issue I greatly enjoyed Kung Fu Hustle. But be warned, this movie is extremely silly and hopes that you will laugh at even the most brutal scenes [which, for the most part, I did]. Stephen Chow obviously loves what he does, and he should hope you will too.

Final Judgment: If you are already a fan of Stephen Chow and enjoyed Shaolin Soccer, then go see Kung Fu Hustle. If you have always wanted to see a Stephen Chow film, then go see Kung Fu Hustle. If you want to see something extremely entertaining and sill, then go see Kung Fu Hustle.

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of Sony Picture Classics

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