Thursday, January 12, 2006

Kung Fu Hustle

Kung Fu
Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia
Director: Stephen Chow
Length: 100 min.
Format: DVD
Date Viewed: 12 January

After a rather intense opening sequence, Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle settles into a fun comedy with a good blend of high- and low-humor and inventive fight scenes. It surprises me that the movie needed four writers to bring a characteristically weak and nonsensical story to the screen, but the dialogue is great (though I'm guessing that, as usual, plenty of liberties have been taken in the English translation) and the characters, with their individual, one-dimensional quirks, are a lot of fun. The fight scenes are, of course, the focus of the movie, and they are very well done. I'll admit, though, that kung fu films are generally pretty boring to me, and in Kung Fu Hustle, the fight scenes go on a little too long and get a little dull by the end. When it comes to Chinese/HK action films, the bullet operas always appealed to me far more than martial arts movies. This is a personal preference, to be sure, but it's the main reason why I prefer Chow's Shaolin Soccer. The lighter tone of Shaolin certainly helps in this regard, too. For as funny as Hustle is, it's a bit dark to go down quite as smoothly as I think Chow wants it to.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen neither Kung Fu Hustle nor Shaolin Soccer but I'm interested in the latter. It was quite popular in Japan.

12 January, 2006 20:46  
Blogger Kyle Smith said...

You should definitely see it. I was on the floor laughing so hard at a couple spots during Shaolin Soccer.

15 January, 2006 13:57  

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