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Average review score based on 126 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
I rented Kung Fu hustle because of some previews that I had seen that I thought looked interesting, and found it to be one of the most entertaining, unpredictable, humourous, and enjoyable martial arts films I have ever seen. Actor and director Stephen Chow has been dubbed "The King of Comedy" by the Hong Kong entertainment media, although it was doubtful at first that his comedic style would fly in the United States as it consisted mainly of mo lei tau (nonsense), or a non-stop stream of double entendres and euphemisms that does not translate well. However, his critics have been silenced with the roaring success of his wuxia hit "Kung Fu Hustle". Chow plays a small time hustler, Sing, who poses as a dangerous Axe gang member in order to shake down the seemingly simple and poor slum tenants in Pig Sty Ally. Instead, he incites a riot and its aftermath that encompasses the Axe gang, the peasants unveiled as kung fu masters, Sing's loyal and plodding accomplice, a deaf but beautiful ice cream vendor, and the world's top kung fu killer. The movie races along with side-splitting gags, cartoonish special effects and top notch martial arts sequences, with homages to western action and classic kung fu films as well as old silents and Looney Tunes cartoons. The filmmaking is amazingly deft, with camera angles that soar, visual tricks that astound, and scenes that flout the laws of phyics. The insanely rapid-paced plot of this action/comedy/musical/drama is set in a colorful 1930's Shanghai, and the comic set-up is offset by darker themes later in the film. I don't believe in plot spoilers, so the ending won't be revealed here, but suffice to say that it's all completely unpredicatable, highly outlandish, totally off the top, and yet delivers real charm, imagination, wit, and humor in an unforgettable tale of redemption. This is a must see for anyone, and a liking for martial arts flicks is definately NOT a prerequisite here.
PROS - Unique style, side splitting humor, top notch special effects, over the top martial arts sequences, artful traditional Chinese music as well as an excellent orchestral score, and a far-from-predictable storyline.
CONS - Spotty pacing in some scenes.
Visually dazzling, fascinatingly strange, oddly sweet and laugh-out-loud funny, "Kung Fu Hustle" is truly something special. How special? This Hong Kong chop-sockey comedy features amazing special effects; cartoonishly frantic fight scenes; a dance number performed by tuxedoed gang members wielding hand axes; a pair of blind musician-assassins who magically conjure up flying swords and skull-faced demons; the most abusively loud landlady in history; a toad-man master killer; a mute and sweetly adorable ice-cream vendor; an all-powerful butt-kicking savior from the skies...and more!
Director/producer/writer Stephen Chow stars as Sing, a lovable-loser con artist pretending to represent the murderously evil Axe Gang. After his attempted shakedown of Pig Sty Alley goes hilariously wrong, he tries to join for real. One of his first assignments is to spring the fastest and most dangerously lethal martial-arts master alive from prison, which leads to some positively epic fists-of-fury faceoffs.
If you're thinking that "Kung Fu Hustle" sounds like cold Quentin Tarantino camp, think again. This isn't some soulless, post-modern pastiche, full of forced irony and lamebrained pop-culture references designed to make girlfriendless nerds chuckle in mirthless appreciation. "Kung Fu Hustle" is more like a weird cross between screwball slapstick comedy and surrealistic anime fantasy, with affectionate nods along the way to Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "The Matrix." Who says homages can't have heart?
Being a chow fan myself, I must say this is by far the best work he's done. I was absolutely captivated and immediately at home in this very foreign place. This film is so strangely retro and yet tangible. Stephen Chow's name has been around the Chinese cinema for more than twenty years. His special style of dry humor is not only known but also recognized by Chinese viewers as his trademark and uniqueness. It's only until recently with the release of Shaolin soccer did people around the world started to take notice of this Asian pop icon. But when we thought it couldn't get any better, he surprised us with this masterpiece, Kung Fu Hustle. I have never laughed so hard, yet come away feeling as if I had been uplifted.
The effects are fierce, and yet organic. The characters are strong, vivid and effective. The imagery and magic of the story and scenery and amazing overwhelmingly inspired soundtrack blend. It's like this film picks you up and never puts you down, doesn't miss a beat, and never spends a fraction of a second too long in any one spot.
Viewers will find themselves drawn into the fantasy world of Kung Fu with funny, fascinating characters that blow people's mind away. References to Forrest Gump, The Matrix, Silence of the Lambs, traditional Chinese Woosha novels can be found in many scenes. I also find myself laughing so hard in several parts. Most of the jokes are easy to understand for they are usually short phrases or body movements. This allows general audiences around the world to get pass the cultural or language barrier and enjoy the atmosphere it's creating. The action scenes are also visually stunning according to the design by famous action designer Yuen Ho Ping (Responsible for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and The Matrix trilogy). But being a Kung Fu watcher, I personally thought it would've been even more superior with less CGI.
Overall I give it 5 stars. It's probably the most entertaining Chinese film to date. This one will sure save a spot for Steven Chow in the history of Asian cinema.
"From Walking Disaster to Kung Fu Master" The front of the DVD says it all. This hilarious action movie combines both Comedy and Action to form a blend of movie that is truly perfect. Although this could be considered a guy movie, it does attract a wide audience, just as Mr.Chow's last film (Shaolin Soccer) did.
"Meet a gang of Unlikely heroes" Sing, a boy from a town ruled by the 'Axe Gang' desperatly wasnts to be a member. In his journey he stumbles upon a slum ruled by wife and husband landlord team who actually turn out to be Kung Fu masters! Sing's stupidity eventually cause the Axe Gang to challenge the Slum Landlords to an explosive kung-fu battle. When it is over, one side will emerge as the greatest kung fu master of all.
Stephen Chow does a brilliant job acting as 'Sing' while still directing the movie perfectly. The supporting cast have their time in the spotlight but the film is all about showcasing Stephen Chow.
The Kung-fu moves in this movie are matched by very few and the imaginative dance sequences with the tuxedo-clad mobsters are absolutly hilarious! It is no wonder though that the fight sequences are so amazing, because they are directed by legendary action choreogragher Yuen Wo Ping(Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon & The Matrix!) This movie is a must-see for all action, comedy or Kung-fu fans... Im sure you fit under 1 of those catagorys!
I've seen this in the theaters once before but it wasn't until I watched it on DVD a second time that I realized at how great this movie truly is. There is no other movie out there that can combine comedy and action so damn well, there just isn't. I was amazed at how much slap-stick comedy could be found in an action Kung Fu film (although Jackie Chan's films do it well, but in a different way). At one point you'll be laughing because it's so funny and rediculous and then the next you'll just tense up with excitement watching all that cool choreographed Kung Fu. You'd think with all the Loony Toon type shtick going on it would ruin it's chances of being taken seriously, not so. I just love the way this film changes gears and never loses pace.
While watching this I was left with such nostalgia for my past favorite Kung Fu films. Even the way this was shot, it almost seemed like I was just sitting back and enjoying an age ol' classic. Than at the same time I'm thrown off kilt by the slap-stick humor and fantastic special effects, and as we all know this is the perfect recipe for keeping people interested...atleast when it's done right. And it was. Remember what I said about "changing gears"? Yeah, it does it very well. One moment it's a spoof and the next it's an intense fight scene. It's almost as if the funny stuff was to give you a breather from the action.
Now if you know my writing, you'll first notice I gave KFH a 5/5, a first for me here at eBay. That's not to say this is the best movie of all time, but it's definitely the best movie of it's kind. As funny as this movie can be, it makes Couching Tiger Hidden Dragon look like the real joke when it comes to choreography. This one just hit the nail on the head and gave us Kung Fu fans something to be proud of. Kung Fu Hustle is like Disney World, you'll never see everything your first time through. I've seen this a dozen times and always pick up on something new. This review just doesn't do it justice alone, go see it for yourself!