Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Movies: Kung Fu Hustle

On Saturday night, Brenden and I went to go see Kung Fu Hustle. I had somewhat high expectations for it, but I was not disappointed.

I am not a huge Kung Fu movie fan, but I have seen my fair share and usually enjoy them at least somewhat. Of course I enjoyed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but I can also enjoy an old-school Jackie Chan movie like Rumble in the Bronx for its pure death-defying stunts and crazy action, or Pray for Death for its silly plot and the shock that comes from watching the bad guy punch unexpectedly punch a kid in the face through a car window.

Typically I enjoy the blindingly fast moves and back-and-forth of the battles in Kung Fu movies until the last third of the movie or so, when I start to get bored with the repetition. Kung Fu Hustle was a little different in that it was primarily a comedy, with Kung Fu as the catalyst for the humor. That resulted in the expected over-the-top action sequences, which were pretty entertaining to watch.

One of the better battles was 'three guys versus the entire Axe gang' that came in the first third of the movie. Its always amusing to watch the stunt doubles go flying as the 'heroes' wade through a mob of bad guys.

However, as with any movie based on being 'over-the-top', Kung Fu Hustle did have some points where you just kind of rolled your eyes and groaned. I joked with Brenden on the ride home that it was clear that anything that popped into Stephen Chow's head apparently made it into the movie, because some of the parts were pretty bizarre. The award for strangest and most unnecessary scene was a 2.5 minute road-runner style chase scene between two characters.

But still I enjoyed Kung Fu Hustle quite a bit. If you like Kung Fu movies at all, it is probably worth seeing.


Scooter said...

Pooteewheet and I swapped movie stints while one of us stayed home with Erwood: she saw Sin City (and really liked it) and I saw Kung Fu Hustle. I have to admit I enjoyed it a lot - at first there were some stereotypes and comedy that I didn't think was very original - but the longer it went on, the funnier it became - it was almost as though they were just picking up their stride as they went and getting comfortable with the characters instead of trying to be plain silly. It was very reminiscent of Shaolin Soccer.

Steve Eck said...

I haven't actually seen Shaolin Soccer. A friend has been talking it up for years, but I never got around to seeing it.