Saturday, April 15, 2006

Kung Fu Hustle

What a hodge-podge of styles this movie is. It takes the Hong Kong tradition of martial arts mysticism, slapstick (also in the tradition of Hong Kong martial arts movies), Airplane humour, Loony Toons silliness, Matrix slo-mo fighting and even West Side Story gangster moves, all with an extra large topping of cheese.

The pre-Communist Chinese village of Pig Sty harbours several secret kung fu masters, all of whom are targeted for assassination by the ruthless, black-suited Axe Gang (to those of you who think Asians all look alike, you'll get a flashback to the plague of Agent Smiths in the third Matrix movie). The village's landlady specialises in the Lion Roar, a scream which not only shatters glass but can also repel demon swordsmen (and what a refreshing change from the literal femme fatale she is - she's overweight, middle-aged and has a cigarette perpetually dangling from her mouth. Zhang Ziyi she is not). Her husband does kung fu in his sleep; sort of an homage to Jackie Chan's Drunken Master movies I'd say.

Okay, so there is actually a bit of real, nasty violence, but mostly it's highly stylised. And in the end the good guys win, the lost souls find direction and the hero gets the girl.

It was great fun.

8 comments:

small one said...

Sounds like a cool movie. I think I'll recommend it to my friends here and we can watch it together

darth said...

one of my favorite movies last year! just for the dance number in the beginning :lol:

onscreen said...

Awesome movie.

Juliabohemian said...

we have been meaning to rent this. we just finished watching Kung Pow, enter the fist.

Violet said...

Kung Pow is awful!

EB said...

We enjoyed Kung Fu Hustle as well. When JB pointed it out, I liked the fancy footwear work too.

Make Tea Not War said...

We loved it too.

Desiree said...

Me and Him Indoors loved this movie; I think they managed to fit every cliché in the book in this one - the other one that Steven did that you should see is Shanghai Soccer - kung-fu style soccer - absolutely hilarious!