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.
My neighbors are probably wondering what the hell is going on in my apt having heard me laughing out loud while revisiting this film! The 3 back to back scenes involving knives, snakes and road runner-esque chase scene were so funny I thought I was going to bust a gut laughing!
Stunning creativity and imagination generate some truly memorable moments! The special effects dept worked overtime and it really shows!
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…
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.
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
Action, comedy, and the feels.... what more could you ask for?
How could anyone not like Kung Fu Hustle? Stephen Chow's effervescent ode to cinema unfolds at breakneck speed, introducing a poor Chinese town which happens to house an embarrassment of secret martial arts masters, who come out of the woodwork when a gang of axe-wielding thugs barges in. Chow may be the ostensible hero, and he and his tubby buddy (Lam Chi-chung) may lead the Axe Gang to Pig Sty Alley, the main courtyard of which showcases most of the movie's events. However, its denizens are really the main attractions here: the effeminate tailor (Chiu Chi-ling), the big n' buff laborer (Xing Yu), the stoic noodle chef (Dong Zhihua), the layabout landlord (Yuen Wah) and, of course, his terrifying, chain-smoking…
With equal parts kung fu, comedy, and cartoon/anime; Kung Fu Hustle is an extremely stylized and fun film.
It really feels like watching cartoons. Everything is exaggerated and heightened to a saturated candy color. The opening sequence is especially visually beautiful.
The characters are goofball stereotypes, and while that works for minor characters, I wanted more out of the leads. I barely understood who the main character was until the third act of the movie.
The action is thrilling, and the classic Chinese soundtrack grounds the film in it’s rich film heritage.
Stephen Chow is my new favorite man on this planet. His "Kung Fu Hustle" is another inventive and energetic effort. I cannot wait to see more of his films. I plan on watching all of them over the next week.
This movie is what would happen if Chuck Jones and the Loony Toons writers had made The Matrix. It was so absurd/silly from start to finish that it had me laughing almost all the way through. So glad I finally watched this hilarious martial arts slugfest.
Yep this movie is still awesome
Kung Fu Hustle was a lot of fun. Its plot was silly and the character development almost non-existent but the cartoonish comedy was very entertaining. It was a nice change for me as this (and, my girlfriend assures me, other Chinese kung fu movies) contained a lot more physical comedy in fight scenes compared to what I'm used to in Western action movies; I guess I didn't really find these scenes that impressive by themselves so it was good that humour was added to them to make them more interesting.
Looney Tunes Goes East the movie.
From the building drums, to the singular slow violin, the overtures sync me for this film. Making me feel like I have ringside seat for the next fight.
PERSONAL: What can I say, I'm a F'in fool for Stephen Chow movies.
The randomness of it all was a thing of beauty, harkening me back to the days of Saturday Morning Cartoons.
When The Axe Gang started to break out in dance to a theme reminiscent of the arcade Spy Hunter, I knew it was love!
Did not enjoy as much as the soccer one, but a good time.
I don't usually post others' best-of/essential film compilations, since there are too many of them to keep track of, but…