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Kung Fu Hustle (HK 2004)

Director : Stephen Chow
Music : Raymond Wong
Action Choreography : Yuen Woo Ping
Visual Effects : Centro Digital Pictures LTD
Editor : Angie Lam
Production Designer : Oliver Wong
Photography : Poon Hang Sang
Co-Producers : Rita Fung, Connie Wong
Executive Producers : Bill Borden, Zhao Hai Cheng, David Hung
Writer : Stephen Chow, Tsang Kan Cheong, Lola Huo, Chan Man Keung
Produced by : Yang Bu Ting, Wang Zhong Jun, Chui Po Chu, Han San Ping, Wang Zhong Lei

Cast : Stephen Chow, Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Kwok Kuen Chan, Hsiao Liang, Zhi Hua Dong, Yu Xing and Chi Chung Lam.

Set in Canton, China in the 1940s, the story revolves around a hapless wannabe gangster who aspires to become a member of the notorious “Axe Gang.” Other characters include an obnoxious landlady and her apparently frail husband who exhibit extraordinary powers in defending their turf.

by Edward Tang

Best picture winner and top grossing film of all time? There’s not too many films here in the USA that really can match to such. Titanic is the only film that could say it has already passed these waters (ho-hum) but we all know that Titanic is basically a fuckin’ waste of time, unless you like to watch people in anticipation of death. Kung Fu Hustle however has a bunch of overused (good) CGI, great martial arts scenes (Yuen Wo Ping? What did you expect?) and Mr. Stephen Chow whom is the reigning King of Comedy in Hong Kong. Basically I had high expectations for this film, it’s truly hard not to. Chow’s films have a desire to explore different subplots including this film that tries to go into a love story that just doesn’t do anything for my eyes. I guess we are done naming the negatives, because this film is loads of fuckin’ fun. Considering that Hong Kong cinema is on a skid right now, I’ll always look forward to Chow’s films because he delivers when he needs too. On a sidenote, my friend compared this little film to Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, please God no.

Yes the CGI is corny, but still fun. There’s a bunch of scenes that are just high energy, where it be people flying through walls or a cartoon inspired chase where Yuen Qiu smashes into the wall, ala Wiley E. Coyote. But Chow doesn’t really make this entire film a camp filled delight, as he actually concentrates on giving us some worthy fight scenes to quench our thirst for blood and action (my thirst anyways). The entire sequence including those musician assassins destroying the three kung-fu masters is totally kickass in nature and awesomeness. What was cool about this, was that I haven’t seen anything like it, and although it partially was CGI it was well enough choreographed by Mr. GOD of action direction. There’s another scenes which involves the newly born Stephen Chow and he goes through the motions with the Beast, which is well done and boasts TOAD STYLE (Ribbit indeed!)

But the all around wacky nature of Chow still is put to the side for more of his serious scenes (not that serious). Obviously he respects the nature of martial arts and hired the right guy, and hell it paid off. Some of the scenes did get a little bit on the over-dramatic side, especially anytime that involved the girl and Chow and the cheesy music that played in the background. Maybe I’m an idiot and just don’t get the point of such, but it wasn’t that much of a distraction. But then again, Chow shows that he is the King of Comedy by getting his face smashed into the ground and his offense is to hit the guy with a little stick in the head, that’s awesome. The small comedy pieces in general had me laughing my ass off, mostly the ones that involved Yuen Wah and him talking to Chow as he is almost dead and Chow goes on to write something in blood. Wah responds “Write in Chinese, I don’t understand”, why that made me laugh is unknown, but it did and that’s what counts.

Chow’s cast of characters is one of the main focus points of this show. Chow himself has a few funny lines, but for what I recall he isn’t really focused on in this film, with only a few scenes in which he has some prominent moments. Yuen Wah and Yuen Qiu are funny as hell, both rolling with their roles and selling everything the right way. The Bruce Lee guy has somewhat of a funny role, mostly to stand around and act silly after shooting a lady. Well done, sir. The cast was funny, hell even Yuen Wo Ping’s brother got into the act, mooching crappy kung-fu novels onto idiot kids, that’s what I’m talking about. My favorite character would belong to Beast for some reason, sporting those crappy sandals and just kicking a bunch of ass until he kneels at the feet of Chow, what a guy.

I’m not really sure where to go on Kung Fu Hustle that hasn’t been touched on before, it truly is a fun film that properly gives the world the better introduction to one of the best entertainers out there today. I guess that’s about it, I’m sure most of the fans of Asian films have already gone out and viewed this film and talked about it, and wrote about it. Whatever the fuck you think about it, this film is shitloads of fun that every single person on Earth should enjoy and thank God that Stephen Chow hasn’t moved onto America and started work on the highly anticipated Kung Pow 2: Tongue of Fury. (WHY DOES THIS SHIT GET GREENLIGHTED?). Have a good life.

Plot : 3/5
Acting : 3/5
Entertainment : 5/5
Overall : 4/5

Notable Scenes
- The final battle between The Beast and Sing
- The keyboard battle between the assassins and the two kung-fu masters
- The Landlord and Landlady in the fight against Beast.

Buy this movie at YesAsia – Kung Fu Hustle

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