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Kung Fu HustleKung Fu Hustle

Starring Steven Chow Yuen Qui, Lam Tze Chung and so on
Directed/written By Stephen Chow
Chinese - with English Subtitiles

 

 

Bluntly speaking? This is a helluva Kung Fu film! The characters are legitimately funny, and its story engaging - and the Kung Fu properly fu-y. With the technical assistance of CGI, the already astounding choreography and martial abilities, lifts off into magical places true genre fans already imagine.

Story goes… it's a strange time in the landscape of China. And a strange fellow, Sing (Stephen Chow) is looking for his niche. Sing's sort of a loser. He's tried being "the good guy," and fell flat on his face. Now he just wants to be a part of the dreaded Axe Gang.

The Axe gang is a rotten group of lecherous cutthroats that terrorize the cities and towns around them. It's very Chicago in the wild Al Capone era - down to the zoot suit ensemble the Westside Story-esque gang wear.

Sing and his heavyset sidekick (Lam Tze Chung), wander the countryside towns pretending to already be members in hopes of proving their loyalties. One sunny day the duo stumble across a tenement called, "Pig Sty Alley." They figure these nobodies will be frightened enough by them, and their faux machismo, they can prove to the Axe Gang they are worthy of membership.

The Sty is, however, not as it would first appear. Within its decrepit walls lay many secrets - and soon a major Kung Fu Master battle will be waged within its filthy courtyard.

Steven Chow, a comic sensation in China, mixes old school Kung Fu drama and pantomime with the technology of today (think Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger effects)- and to all this he ads a heavy hand of legitimate humor. His characters are properly fantastical with an inner core of rich humanity. The Landlady (Yuen Qui) pretty much steals the show as she whips up Kung Fu butt; spandex pants, bulging belly, rollers in her hair, and a perpetual cigarette hangin' from her mouth ala Keith Richards. And each of the "masters" have outlandish talents available thanks to Chow's imagination and the ability of film manipulations.

If you enjoy the Kung Fu genre you are going to adore this film. But it's really quite funny, even if you're void of appreciation to the art. Enjoy.

Snack recommendation: Ice cream cones.


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