There are many pop culture references in there like reservoir dogs and the matrix. It would be a good background movie for a party or poker game which could catch your eye at any moment and still hold your attention. Set in Canton, China in the 1940s, the story revolves in a town ruled by the Axe Gang, Sing who desperately wants to become a member. However, I think it's one of his best. A master of blending both comedy and visceral action with artistic integrity and traditional melodrama. This has to be Chow's best, right? Soon, wannabe gangster Sing and his pal Bone attempt to extort money out of a barber and fail, drawing the real Axe Gang to Pig Sty. Caught the world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and the entire theater laughed until they cried.
Upon first viewing the trailer, I thought we would have another Kung Pow: Enter The Fist on our hands but, boy, was I wrong. You are watching now the Kung Fu Hustle movie has Action Comedy Crime Genres and produced in China, Hong Kong with 99 min runtime. So everything seems great, right? This film simply does not look like a Hong Kong film. Only one side will win and only one hero will emerge as the greatest kung-fu master of all. If they want realism, they should go to the laundromat. Stephen Chow pulled it off. Like most Stephen Chow films while the concept is simple to describe, the execution is far more complex.
First I thought it was the barber guy who got himself constantly smacked about by the landlady. I saw this movie at the Toronto filmfest and I have to say I loved it, I really didn't know what to expect as I didn't know the director and had only really seen some pretty bad kung fu many years before. My eyes still hurt from wiping away tears of laughter. Not me, until I saw this movie. Some argue that Stephen uses a lots of old jokes and routines in this movie that makes it a little bit weak on the script. The contrast of atmosphere and mood throughout the film is incredible and even more incredible is Chow's ability to make it all work.
It has been awhile since a director has been able to take me from quite serious and intense graphic violence to over the top ridiculous spoofing. Some of the effects not only will have you in stitches, but also in shock and awe at the sheer incredibility of some of the scenes. If you go to the movies to free your imagination, then this is the movie for you. I can't remember the last film I enjoyed myself in more. It is action comedy at its finest. Sing's reasons for wanting to join the gang are simple: bad guys are cooler. It was that appealing to the eye.
Become a mobster or save the day? More importantly this addition to Chow's superb filmography finally allows us a means of defining his technique. Yuen Wo Ping manages to take a scene that appears to be rehash of the Burly Brawl hundreds of suits against one guy and manages to make it not only fresh, but a thousand times more exciting and intense. So I liked the film, but what is the film exactly. Compared to his other films this film ranks 1 for its visuals and action, but in terms of laughs and writing it cannot surpass the classics. He stumbles into a slum ruled by eccentric landlords who turns out to be the greatest kung-fu masters in disguise. Sing's actions eventually cause the Axe Gang and the slumlords to engage in an explosive kung-fu battle.
Kung Fu Hustle not only reminds us of Chow's terrific comedic timing, it introduces us to his stunning visual eye and exhilarating action direction. You can notice most of the effects, but that doesn't matter because they are used for laughs and effectively so. Set in Canton, China in the 1940s, the story revolves in a town ruled by the Axe Gang, Sing who desperately wants to become a member. He doesn't make as many dirty jokes as usual, but you can really learn his philosophy through this two-hours movie and have a very good laugh at the same time. Actually not everything works and is not at all Chow's best film. There are a terrific number of effects shots in this film far more then I've ever seen in a Hong Kong production save maybe the terrible Wesley's Mysterious File and while I am disappointed at the lack of practical effects the impressive quality of them more then makes up for it. I suppose it's because he looked so dim, he therefore had to be a kung fu master in disguise.
However his skills as a comedian - be it his brash physical comedy Shaolin Soccer , his manical scenarios Tricky Brains or epic historical parodies A Chinese Oddsey - have never outshined his talents as a director. One scene that sticks out is a terrific spoof of the Road Runner. The scene with the two assassins playing that stringed instrument don't know the name of it in such a way that it kills was incredible. The original version shows Sing spitting out blood, which ends up appearing on the farmer's face after Sing asks her what she does. It took me a while to figure out who the hero was. Wachowski's take not, this is how you direct Yuen Wo Ping to this artistic peak. .
Kung Fu Hustle was one of the most visually imaginative and unique movies I have seen in quite some time. I didn't expect to come to this movie for a laugh, but the knife scene almost killed me. Chow is no stranger to direction. Who would've thought you could top Shaolin Soccer? In general, it's a movie which puts tribute to all the Kung Fu Movie. When the scene is funny you appreciate the comedy, when it switches gears to action you are blown away by the terrific sequences, when it switches to melodrama you are on the edge of your seat awaiting character responses, and when they're all fused together you do exactly what Chow is hoping you'll do. Chow having succumbed to the digital revolutions in Shaolin Soccer, manages once again to use his effects wisely.
It is not his funniest film, but that is because it takes the risk of exploring the action genre. Its not hilarious, but also a visual feast. If you really watch the movie carefully, you will know what kung-fu is. It is 1940';s China, and gangs rule the city. » This is one of the most richly imaginative, creative, downright enjoyable movies I've ever seen.
I haven't enjoyed myself this much since Pulp Fiction. He stumbles into a slum ruled by eccentric landlords who turns out to be the greatest kung-fu masters in disguise. All in all I thought this was a great movie and suspect this will be a huge hit! Although there was not much to the story, it was not non-existent, either. Make it your mission to see this film - it will be one of the most entertaining you ever see. Only one side will win and only one hero will emerge as the greatest kung-fu master of all. The impressive action is thanks largely to the great choreography talent including both Sammo Hung and Yuen Wo Ping each working on the film at spate occasions.