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.
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.
WHY IS THIS SO WHACKY
WHY IS THERE HATCHET DANCING
WHY ARE THERE LOONEY TUNES SOUND EFFECTS
WHY IS THAT MAN A TOAD
WHY DID I ENJOY THIS SO MUCH
Kung Fu Hustle is like a martial arts movie as imagined by Frank Tashlin: a dizzying genre mash-up turned live-action cartoon that slings everything at the wall, from Tommy Guns to spoofery to sparring matches, and comes up smelling of bonkers.
The story, if you can call it that, sees a slick urban gang of be-hatted, machine-gun sporting hoods trying to crush a poor rural district under its heel. Unfortunately for them, there are an improbable number of retired kung fu warriors working in a single village square. As the mobsters get their arses handed to them, reformed good guy (writer-director Stephen Chow) attempts to ingratiate himself with the gang, spurning the advances of the mute girl he once tried…
This is unlike any Martial Arts film I have ever seen, and is probably on my list of top five Martial Arts films. Its basically a mix of black comedy, kung-Fu, Loony Tunes, and traditional Asian gore films. the film is also a bit off from other martial arts films, focusing mainly on the story line, and characters rather than the fighting. the sound effect choices of this film were also quite...uh...interesting. This film has one of Asian cinema's most memorable villains: Brother Sum- The "Axe gang" leader who is a fan of killing, and Broadway dance. The ending fighting sequence making fun of the multiple Mr. Smith clone fighting sequence in the "Matrix: Reloaded", was good fun, seeing that foreign film can be good at paying homage to cinema across seas-as well as parodying them. Though this film is incredibly unrealistic, and almost cartoonish, i really enjoy it, praising it for being both ambitious, and unexpected.
This was one of my favorite films growing up. I would watch it on repeat when I got a DVD copy of it at age 15 or 16. In a rare case of nostalgia goggles not failing me, I was happy to find it still held up to my memories of it.
Kung Fu Hustle never takes itself too seriously. One of my biggest fears watching this again for the first time in 5 years or so would be that the humor would be lost on an older me. My fears were quickly done away with though right from the beginning, as I found myself laughing just as hard with each passing comedic scene as I did when I first…
Eine wundervolle Mischung aus gnadenlos überzogenem Wunder-Martial Arts, Comedy und köstlichen Special Effects.
Movie is nuts, love it far more than the rating would suggest but the plot is pretty unfocused in parts and there's (supposedly?) a romance subplot that kind of just exists because reasons.
A funny satire of Kung Fu movies with some actual impressive fight scenes. Likable characters give the movie two feet to stand on but the story meanders around; introducing a romantic subplot with no real payoff or meaning.
That hairdressers ass tho.
a lot like breaking bad in that it's an action thriller that suddenly veers into romance in the last 5 minutes
Profoundly entertaining. Good action, funny characters, great comedy and full of random and cartoonish situations. The plot its simple, yet compelling, and out of the ordinary. What else can I say? Its a really creative and unique approach filled with laughs and pretty good martial arts action.
Four Boss Frogs and a toe stomp out of Five
Mandatory Chinese New Year movie! The nth time watching this but still exhilarating and fresh.
I couldn't really chill out and enjoy this as a live-action cartoon since I had a midterm on wuxia film right after this, but Kung Fu Hustle is visually spectacular, over the top, and fun. Even when you have to discuss its morality afterwards, action this cheesy is always enjoyable.
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