For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
Kung Fu Hustle
From walking disaster to kung fu master.
In Shanghai, China in the 1940s, a wannabe gangster aspires to join the notorious "Axe Gang" while residents of a housing complex exhibit extraordinary powers in defending their turf.
No more soccer!
I had the misfortune of not having a single good movie in the last 8 films I watched so I needed palate cleanser. Something guaranteed to bring me viewing pleasure and bring me joy for roughly 2 hours. Enter Kung Fu Hustle.
What other film can you watch that will spoof a Road Runner cartoon and pay homage to Way of the Dragon moments later? The same film that will have two characters in a death scene quote lines from Spider-Man, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind and The Untouchables all in the same exchange. It's like a pop culture martial arts party.
If that sounds a little crazy, then you get a good idea about what kind of martial arts is in the film as well. It crosses the line of reality and doesn't care. It's all the better for it.
I'm just happy from beginning to end when I watch this.
PTAbro's World Tour Stop 19: China
Fun, frantic, and funny, Kung Fu Hustle is an odd beast - reveling in its own goofiness, yet somehow supremely earnest, Stephen Chow obviously knows his cinema (the shot of Sing and Fong mirroring Astaire and Rogers was sublime), and works to throw everything together into a convincing narrative; Tex Avery cartoons and Bruce Lee exploitationers are just some of the genres skewered in Chow's tornado of referential machismo. Slapstick, verbal barbs, and absurdism add to the light-hearted humor of the piece.
Unfortunately, not all the jokes stick. Chow himself does a fine job playing semi-foil to the anarchy around him, but he's a much better action star than a comedian. And while I…
What a delightfully zany action film this turned out to be! I recall reading that it was partially a comedy, but absolutely nothing could have prepared me for this. What I got was a hilarious cocaine-induced Kung fu action film that kept me on the edge of my seat frand m start to finish.
A neighborhood is consistently under attack from a Chinese gang, but they have their own protection- most of the locals are super-enhanced fighters who are specially trained in martial arts, prepared for any fight. A Shanghai local named Sing dreams of joining the notorious "Axe Gang," but he inadvertently initiates a turf war between the local residents and the gang members, resulting in some of the…
Kung Fu Hustle is a really fun martial arts movie by director Stephen Chow, who also directed Shaolin Soccer, another really good movie. This movie has many funny scenes, many great, over-the-top action scenes and it looks gorgeous. Also, the music is really nice. And it has a good plot, unlike some other action movies (John Wick, The Raid 1). Recommended!
a student is on one side of a raging river. there are no bridges. he has no boat. he shouts out to the master on the opposite bank. “How do I get to the other side?” the master shouts back: “You are on the other side.”
"Why do they always want to do it the hard way?" -- Wile E. Coyote
I hadn't seen this since it was released a decade ago, but it strikes me that in all that time since Marvel has released like 30 superhero movies and not a one of them is half as entertaining, imaginative and profound as this. And it runs only 99 minutes.
Things I learned on rewatching:
1. Lam Suet! Lam Suet is in this!
2. The landlord and landlady (types in homage to Chor Yuen's The House of 72 Tenants, a non-action movie that was Hong Kong's biggest hit of 1973, topping even the mighty Bruce Lee) are played by Yuen Wah and Yuen Qiu. Yuen Wah, of course, is a longtime stuntman and actor (you can see him as the villain…
Kung Fu Hustle is a pretty silly movie that is often the victim of early 2000s CGI, but it is a lot of fun.
Juvenile humour, bad cgi. Too silly for my taste.
how great was that dance sequence?? what a gr8 way 2 express a gang's takeover, all such montages she be done by way of smooth axe dance. also luvvd the way brother sum talked. gr8. excellent
what a reverently ping-pongingly skip-around good time. imo all world-class martial-arts masters should wear house slippers or dress like elderly-middle-ageds-at-a-casino.
silly and delightful. (not enough girls tho)
Incredible. Unique. Fun
Weird but fun. Wish there had a bit more coherent narrative style but it was such a sensory overload that I didn't mind
Bill Murray once said that this was "the supreme achievement of the modern age in terms of comedy".
Bill Murray and I clearly have very different taste in films. Damn.
absurd in the way i like most; not quite as formative as shaolin soccer regarding my particular tastes, but super impactful on my teenage years all the same
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
I don't usually post others' best-of/essential film compilations, since there are too many of them to keep track of, but…