Friday, October 8, 2010
Kung Fu Hustle
Today I will be reviewing Kung Fu Hustle. Now I am aware that my previous 2 films were in spanish, but today the movie will be in Chinese. I'm sorry if you don't like reading subtitles, but this one can be dubbed if you want it that way. I think this is a very enjoyable film for almost anyone, unless you don't like over-the-top action scenes.
Well let me get started with the review. Kung Fu Hustle is Stephen Chow's seventh film. It's a martial arts film set in the 1940 and is filled with a ton of humor. The main character is a small-time crook who wants to join the evil Axe Gange who control the city. While trying to accomplish this goal he travels to a slum and sets a war between the people of the slum and the Axe Gang, which starts the exciting, and humorous, adventure filled with funny and bizarre characters.
This film is different from other wuxia films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Hero due to the fact that it combines humor with the fighting. What also sets it apart from the other wuxia films is that it looks cartoonish. By this I mean you know it's fake, Chow isn't trying to hid how fake it is, he has characters running like the Roadrunner from Looney Toons and the battle scenes are much more over-the-top than the other wuxia films. Chow isn't hiding how fake this movie is because that is what makes this movie so funny. The comedy is old fashioned and simple which helps the movie stand out, along with the great fight sequences.
The characters in this film are not easy to forget. You have the perverted landlord and his wife, the fat landlady with the loud voice who both turn out to be the exact opposite of what they seem. You also have the three great masters, the coolie, the baker, and the very dramatic, gay tailor, who get really great fighting scenes before the end of the film. You also have interesting villains from the dancing Axe Gange to the ultimate kung fu master who is called The Beast, you even have the harpist playing assassins. Sadly the least interesting, at least to me, was the main character. He was like every other hero, although he was funny at times I just didn't enjoy his characters as much as I enjoyed the others. The acting is good, it's kind of hard to criticize the acting since they are supposed to be very dramatic and over-the-top. But they pull off the humor and they do well with doing the action scenes. Chow, who stars in this movie as the main character, is a decent actor, but although you don't truly connect top these characters you still are interested in them because they're so strange and interesting.
The story isn't the most original. We have the protagonist who wants to become important, he messes up at first and in the end he becomes the hero of the story. The reason why this movie is good though is because of the humor, which I have mentioned a few times already. The humor is what this movie is about and it delivers. Instead of wanting to be a hero the protagonist wants to become a part of this evil gang, but he sucks at fighting to where he's beaten up by a nerd. Instead of having characters that support him he has to deal with a slum run by the loud landlady and her perverted husband. It even has the simple things like him being stabbed by his own knives and being surrounded by snakes, the comedy is one of the key factors of this film. But if you don't like the humor then you may like the action. The action is fantastic, it's cartoonish, but very enjoyable, and this movie has it's good amounts of action, from the fight with the harpists to the fight with the 3 grand masters and to the very last fight scene.
The directing is good for what he was aiming for. Chow wanted to make an over- dramatic film and he succeeded. He has brought this zany cast of characters in this weird world and tied it all in with a good action film and it works. You know it's fake, there is hardly a moment when you think it can be real. Chow wanted to make it fake, he used wirs and trampolines and anything else to make this movie as fun, yet as good, as possible.
This is another movie which I beleive not be missed. Although it may not be the best film for people who don't like kung fu films or don't like stupid, childish humor. But it has great action scenes which you will want to rewatch, you'll be laughing a lot as well. It's a very enjoyable movie that deserves to be watched and laughed at.