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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 34.09%
Just Average: 2.84%
Pretty Crappy: 2.27%
Sucks: 0.57%

14 reviews, 92 user ratings

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Kung Fu Hustle
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by Peter Sobczynski

"This movie kicks everything!"
5 stars

Hong Kong hyphenate Stephen Chow (he writes, directs, produces and acts) electrified audiences worldwide in 2002 (well, 2004 if you lived in the United States) with “Shaolin Soccer,” his hilarious fusion of martial arts action, broad comedy and jaw-dropping special effects. As hugely entertaining as that film was, it pales in comparison to his latest effort, the astonishing “Kung-Fu Hustle,” which is simply the most entertaining film of its genre to come along since Jackie Chan’s “Supercop” heyday

Here, Chow plays a would-be gangster in 1940's Shanghai who tries to get in good with the feared Axe Gang by causing trouble in the decrepit slum of Pigsty Alley. His efforts earn him nothing more than a severe beating from the local populace, but they do attract the attentions of the real Axe Gang, who proceed to make life for everyone miserable. As it turns out, several of the townspeople are actually legendary warriors who have been attempting to live incognito until they are forced to defend themselves in battle. As skilled as they are, it seems that there is only one person out there with the hidden skills and power to triumph over the forces of evil–I suspect that this person’s identity will come as a shock to very few audience members.

The plot is, of course, preposterous but it is wisely treated as nothing more than a thread used by Chow to connect a series of sequences featuring elaborate fight choreography (staged by Yuen Woo-Ping, who did similar work on “The Matrix” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and Sammo Hung) with equally elaborate visual effects and sight gags. There is an elaborate chase sequence, for example, that is the closest thing to a live-action cartoon that I can ever recall seeing. In another surreally beautiful scene, our heroes defend themselves from a pair of assassins who use the sound waves produced by their musical instruments as weapons (which sounds as clunky in print as it is gorgeous on screen). There are also bits of perfectly timed slapstick (such as the moment where a character is accidentally stabbed in the shoulder–for the third time), some hilarious in-jokes (including out-of-nowhere references to “The Shining” and “Shaolin Soccer”) and scenes that defy description, such as an opening crime montage that somehow effortlessly morphs into a musical number. The results are stunning and hilarious–you won’t know whether to pop your eyes in amazement or bust a gut laughing in delight.

“Kung-Fu Hustle” is the kind of film whose charms are so unique that they are almost impossible to describe in the context of a review. Other critics have compared Chow’s work to the efforts of Tex Avery, Jackie Chan, Buster Keaton and Quentin Tarantino–comparisons which are apt, I suppose, but not entirely accurate. Chow has clearly been influenced by their creativity and energy and used it to spark his own imagination and the result is the kind of goofy spectacle that really needs to be seen to be believed.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=10619&reviewer=389
originally posted: 04/22/05 08:15:29
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. For more in the 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/01/13 Atari TwentySixHundred Flaxman, totally missed the mark. This film is beautiful, fun, and exciting! 5 stars
1/04/10 stephan chow fan forever ok.. if you want to get the full effects of the movie, then learn chinese (puns and stuff) 5 stars
12/22/09 Cody This movie is one of the best I've ever seen and I am waiting for the 2010 sequel 5 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner The Action was Amazing! 5 stars
3/12/08 ako excellent film by Chow with indepth understanding of the 3 level of Kung Fu. 5 stars
6/05/07 tracey chambers great movie. funny as hell. 5 stars
5/06/07 fools♫gold Die?! In this racket? 5 stars
4/17/07 David Pollastrini pretty silly! 2 stars
2/06/07 AJ Muller Drops laughs and ass-whuppins our way in old school WB style. Awesome. 4 stars
1/08/07 Drew Galletti As a kung-fu nerd, a well done, humorous homage to the genre 5 stars
12/07/06 UGB Definately worth a look - I thought it pretty funny 4 stars
7/05/06 drydock54321 just like a live action cartoon. Love that lion roar. 5 stars
5/05/06 Jason Terrible, unfunny movie. I'd rather watch a Tony Jaa movie 1 stars
3/30/06 Steb A kung fu comedy! What more could you ask for? 5 stars
2/11/06 brewt hustle me good 4 stars
12/31/05 metalhead Kung Fu Hustle is Freakin Sweet! One of the greatest movies ever made. 5 stars
11/15/05 Adrian Unique in every aspect...and thats what makes it so damn good and fun to watch. 5 stars
10/14/05 eddiejohns Funny and action-packed. I liked this combo. 4 stars
10/13/05 Indrid Cold A cross between "Crouching Tiger" and "Kung Pao"; dumb but entertaining. 4 stars
9/23/05 Mark Radburn A Kick-Ass Asian movie, A must-see 5 stars
9/21/05 Fritz Kind of amusing, but not as funny as it thinks it is. 3 stars
9/16/05 millersxing riki tiki tembo no sa rembo chari bari ruchi pip peri pembo 5 stars
9/11/05 Rever_Bear-Trap This RATING says it all! 5 stars
9/11/05 Alex Robert Rodriguez died 5 stars
9/08/05 Phil M. Aficionado The more I think about it, the better I like it; stunningly chaotic and funny and lively 5 stars
9/01/05 Zack it pretty sweet 3 stars
9/01/05 JFK great asian comedy. 4 stars
8/29/05 Quigley doesn't deliver what it promises. the CG wasn't great and neither were the fight scenes. 3 stars
8/27/05 Tom Burns This movie was amazing. 5 stars
8/24/05 Kat Scrumtrilacent with a hint of stellar. 5 stars
8/23/05 Nick Great movie.Up there with Spiderman. 5 stars
8/15/05 John Kung Fu Hustle R1 DvD is edited. Blood has been taken out and a scene has been shortened 4 stars
8/14/05 Ebru Germeyan Not even a Cartoon movie could top this movie 5 stars
8/13/05 othree next level. solid story, cast, imagery, believable cheeziness 5 stars
8/12/05 Justin Kline Funnier Than Heck 4 stars
7/16/05 Kathy terPlugg Not as good as KUNG POW: ENTER THE FIST. 3 stars
7/05/05 jim even better than Revenge of the Sith 5 stars
6/25/05 Sean Poon It has more depth than it appears to be 5 stars
6/14/05 jameth burketh Absolutely hillarious-gets better with repeated viewing. A very clever film 5 stars
6/08/05 Gray It was fun 4 stars
6/06/05 captain craig the more I see it, the more I like it 5 stars
5/27/05 juli Matrix fights ripped off Hong Kong movies to begin with 5 stars
5/21/05 Cham Like watching a live-action violent cartoon. 4 stars
5/21/05 kemalx78 very funy when i watching this i amnt boring 5 stars
5/16/05 Shawn Borucki Excellent film, Stephen Chow tops "Shaolin Soccer" with mixing gangs and land ladies.. 5 stars
5/10/05 Morrigan Matrix Ripoffs? You sir are an idiot. 5 stars
5/08/05 Ka-Poon Chan Its a very good film, a different outlook from this genre of film making! 4 stars
5/04/05 Koitus Was the urination scene REALLY necessary??? Also, MANY scenes were "Matrix" rip-offs... 2 stars
5/02/05 michaelb14 "I did'nt know The Lion's Roar could be done with a speaker!" 5 stars
5/01/05 your worst goddamn nightmare Take a bit of Loony Toons and Jackie Chan and you've got this. Sounds terrible, BUT........ 5 stars
5/01/05 Dorothy Malm quite entertaining, a lot of fun 5 stars
4/30/05 Chris Stephens This is one cool movie 5 stars
4/28/05 Titus Way cool. 5 stars
4/27/05 Uncle Salty See it. Love it. 5 stars
4/27/05 Colleen Godlrick unique 5 stars
4/27/05 Jeff Anderson A high energy, hysterical & full-throttle BLAST! More fun than all 3 MATRIX films combined! 5 stars
4/26/05 Naka God, YES!!! 5 stars
4/25/05 Whatevr Oh, dizzamn! 5 stars
4/25/05 KingNeutron Fkg awesome, wacky, goofy, sometimes disturbing, and oddly... moving. See twice! 5 stars
4/23/05 jeff not as good as house of flying daggers but still funny and awsome 5 stars
4/23/05 jakob it rocked hard. 5 stars
4/19/05 jordan can you give kung fu hustle movie 0n dvd 2004 2 stars
4/18/05 Al Guy I love it! Watch out for the Hollywood "remake". 5 stars
4/14/05 Gray this movie was great fun! 5 stars
4/12/05 Junior LaRoche Great! Sony Classics know how to release films, unlike Miramax. 5 stars
4/12/05 visual A must-see!!!! 5 stars
4/11/05 Mr. Majestyk If you can't enjoy this movie, you need a blowjob. 5 stars
4/11/05 Dan Olson Good, but not Chow's best and not worth the acclaim 4 stars
4/09/05 Vince Not overly hilarious, but fun. 4 stars
4/09/05 mahn erfa 5 stars
4/07/05 Lina Correa everyone should borrow this from their friend with the large DVD collection 4 stars
4/01/05 kran must watch 5 stars
3/25/05 Greg Ursic Outstanding!! Never have I seen that many reviewers mock fighting in a lobby. 5 stars
3/08/05 vu Awesome 5 stars
3/02/05 michael weber gwaaaaaaaaaa!!!! 3 stars
2/24/05 jandro Great and Side-Splitting funny, Chow sure knows how to tickle the funny bone 5 stars
2/12/05 anthony hilarious and energetic fun! but the script couldve used more work 4 stars
2/07/05 Zach a must-watch! 5 stars
1/29/05 Ery amazingly beautiful and funny 5 stars
1/28/05 buddy garrett same old formula 2 stars
1/28/05 keith james CHOW (GETS) DOWN! 4 stars
1/12/05 Maya gut-busting funny, way cool fight scenes, and unpredictable. i'm now a huge fan. 5 stars
1/11/05 Josh Funniest film i've seen for ages - very stylish too 5 stars
1/10/05 Miles Bader Hits every note just right, silly and affectionate 5 stars
1/08/05 Francis Ayock Stephen Chow homage to the Cantonese Martial Arts films of the last few decades. 5 stars
1/01/05 Dominique Incredibly hilarious - far better than Shaolin Soccer! 5 stars
1/01/05 alicia yeo shi ling absolutely funny! 4 stars
12/23/04 ArQ Chow did it again! 5 stars
9/20/04 Naka Hysterical!!! 5 stars
9/15/04 Pop very good film 4 stars
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  08-Apr-2005 (R)
  DVD: 09-Aug-2005



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