View Full Version : Kung Fu (aka Kung Fu Hustle) (2004) (Hong Kong)

04-24-2005, 11:53 AM
In the recent 24th Hong Kong Film Awards, the movie has won several awards
-- Best Picture
-- Best Supporting Actor (Yuen Wah)
-- Best Visual Effect
-- Best Sound Effect
-- Best Editing
-- Best Action Choreography

For more info, see ...

Although I am not a fan of Stephen Chow, I have watched it ... :)
Here is what I think ...

(1) It is much better than Shaolin Soccer!

(2) Well, there are a number of scenes that I laugh, even though I know it is exaggerated! ha ha ha ... I suppose you have to understand Stephen Chow's style of comedy ... it is usually exaggerated and maybe slapstick (we prefer to call it "mo lei tao" in Cantonese (i.e., illogical comedy)).

He also tries to pay homage to Bruce Lee and the Chinese tradition/belief in martial arts. In a way, it also pokes fun at "society" and martial arts that Chinese (the ethnicity) are so used to watching on TV/movies/novels/comics ... I guess most Hong Kongers and Chinese in general will be able to identify with. :) ... By doing so, he has created a primarily commercial film, but those who insist on searching for depth may find some ... hee hee ...

Question: I wonder whether foreigners (esp. Westerners) understand the jokes or like the movie as much? ... ha ha ha ...
(I believe non Chinese, but Asians (e.g., Thai, Filipino, etc) do watch dubbed martial arts film from Hong Kong often)

(3) Am I too kind to him?! ... Well, here are some food for thought in the movie ... but they are often overlooked if you just want a good laugh ...

About society ...
(i) in particular, Stephen Chow is good at highlighting the thoughts/emotions of the common/unknown people (or more precisely Hong kong people and to some extent, the Chinese (ethnicity) ...)
e.g., the desire to be somebody, the desire to have a romantic love story, the desire to be skilful in martials arts, the desire of many Chinese parents to want their kids to be doctors, lawyers, and engineers, etc
(ii) Do NOT assume ... people's motives/intentions, capabilities, etc ... someone is always better than you ... Do NOT stereotype ... about woman, kids, those be-spectacled, etc ... hmmm, do we always bully the weak?! ...
(iii) The irony of life ...
e.g., when you are nobody, you want to be somebody; but when you are somebody, you prefer to dissolve into a nobody ...
e.g., it is easier to be bad than to be good; the good are often not appreciated ...
e.g., we need the bad to protect the good?! ... (such as, the police being protected by the triads) ...
(iv) he also poke fun at the declining HK movie/entertainment industry! ha ha ha

About martial arts ...
(i) The martials arts depicted are so well known to Chinese(e.g., lion roar, the "godly" palm, etc) ... so it was funny how he exaggerated them ... ha ha ha
(ii) The characters (e.g., yang guo and xiao long nu) ... they are supposed to be two famous ALL TIME favorite couples (from Return of the Condor Heroes), so it was hilariously to depict two "awful" looking actor/actress using the names ... etc

In sum: I think it is an above average film, but you have to like his style of "mo lei tao" (i.e., illogical) comedy. You may or may not understand the jokes he is trying to poke fun ... but does it matter? It is supposed to be some comedy, not social commentary ... ha ha ha

04-26-2005, 12:17 PM
it is NOW showing in US ...
none from this board has watched it?
is it too commercial? too slapstick? or too teenage?

ha ha ha ;PPP

04-28-2005, 10:08 PM
Actually...Im dying to see this; heard from some really snobby film critics that it is completely amazing! Can't wait....

05-02-2005, 04:36 AM
My review of "Kung Fu Hustle".

Wild, wacky, cartoonish at times but entertaining on some level.

This film pushes the limits of believable CGI in conjunction with some out-of-this-world Kung Fu sequences. The comedy is, for the most part, quite obvious and infantile. The love story is brief but surprisingly sweet. The violence is handled in a Busby Berkely fashion and that suits the style of the film. There are some amusing film references sprinkled throughout. I would recommend the film as a renter.

05-27-2005, 10:26 PM
A witless, pointless, and frequently humorless exercise in choreographed mayhem, Kung Fu Hustle (Gong Fu), is the latest film from HK-born superstar Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer). This one-man show from Chow (heís also the producer and the star of the film) ends up being much more irritating than enticing. Chow opens the film in 1940ís Shanghai (arguably), where the "Axe Gang" is in charge of things- for the most part. In order to join the gang, a penniless street-youth (Chow), and his obese sidekick try to blackmail the tenants of "Pig City Alley," the one area not controlled by the gang, but rather by a ruthless landlady (Qiu Yuen). Needless to say, things donít go as well as planned for them (the landlady and the rest turn out to be masters of their domain), and once the Axe Gang gets involved, all hell breaks loose. Chow spoofs everything from Sergio Leoneís westerns (a hilarious opening sequence) to Gangs of New York, from "Road Runner" cartoons to The Matrix (Chow the actor eventually turns out to be "The One"), but the results are often bland and uninspiring. The action in Kung Fu Hustle is choreographed by Yuen Woo-ping and Sammo Hung of The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame, and itís great to look at for a while, but it eventually becomes quite repetitive as one can only watch so many somersaults and flying daggers; the characters themselves are also unpleasant and thus not easy to root for. The film wouldíve been much more suitable for younger audiences if it wasnít so tastelessly crude and violent. Chow is said to be a big fan of Chinese martial-art films (and so am I), but heíll need to be a little less puerile if heís going to make anything substantial, however, the success of this film ensures that more of this is on the way. Kung Fu Hustleís zestfulness wonít allow anyone to look at the time, but many will be glad when itís over. I certainly was.

Grade: C-

06-27-2005, 11:57 AM
"tastelessly crude and violent" a descriptive quote from arsaib4's review, other words or phrases also jumped out from his comments "puerile" is a good one to describe the comedy factor. The film was just so disappointing with needless scenes of ott violence, repetitive fights, yes there are spoofs of a number of films but what started as a spoof of the Matrix films seemed to end up as Stephen Chow saying "Yes look at me for I am the One".

Sorry to say but Stephen Chow is not the One, he's no Jackie Chan and he's most certainly no Bruce Lee or even Jet Li. I do think he takes on too much and because of this the film is very patchy and doesn't seem to know which direction it wants to go.

Childish humour and scenes of crude violence just don't work together; the scene with the two children doused in petrol was for me, a step too far in the wrong direction.

I enjoyed Shaolin Soccer, unfortunately I can't say the same for Kung Fu Hustle.

Cheers Trev.

06-27-2005, 05:46 PM
I'm glad that we agree here (along with hengcs and stevetseitz). I'm not quite sure what all the fuss was about. Granted that the film has its moments, but, like you said, children being doused with petrol (and piss) isn't amusing, no matter the context.