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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 David Cornelius

"Yup, it's every bit as fun as you've heard."
4 stars

Back in “Shaolin Soccer,” Stephen Chow gave us bad guys playing for Team Evil. Now, in “Kung Fu Hustle,” he gives a slum named Pig Sty Alley. If you argue that these names are horribly simplistic, then you just move on with life and ignore Chow’s works. If, however, you get on Chow’s wavelength and see them merely as intentionally silly names built for a quick chuckle, then welcome aboard, you’re about to have one hell of a good time.

If, by chance, you saw “Shaolin Soccer” (preferably in its uncut original form, and not the Miramax edit - but that’s a rant for another day), you may have thought to yourself, “self, this is pretty darn cartoony.” But that was only the appetizer. For “Hustle,” Chow - who directed, co-wrote, co-produced, and stars - gives us the main course, creating an entire cartoon world. Think “Sin City” is a comic book brought to life? Then check out the universe of “Hustle,” which trumps it - here, people can run so fast their legs begin to spin like Wile E. Coyote’s.

The film is a parody of classic martial arts films, which may sound limiting to some audiences. Trust me, it is not. Although Chow has crafted a knowing, winking spoof on the genre, he does not limit himself so much that only those familiar with past works will get the joke. Instead, he broadens his horizons, lampooning films from both east and west, boiling all the parody into one catch-all animated world in which anyone can do anything, especially if it’s funny.

The plot, as much as it can be described: In 1930s Shanghai, gangs control every inch of the city, except for the slums, which are of no interest to criminals. And so the good people of Pig Sty Alley live in peace - well, as peaceful as you can get when your landlady is a chain-smoking, abusive hag (Qiu Yuen) whose shrill voice can shatter glass. Anyway, bumbling gangster wannabe (Chow) rolls into Pig Sty Alley, and, long story short, sets off a chain of events that unleashes the Axe Gang. Fortunately for the good residents of the slum (and unfortunately for the Axe Gang), Pig Sty Alley is home to several anonymous former martial arts masters.

What Chow has done is create a world devoid of physics as we know it, the result being a joyous event for anyone who gets a kick (no pun intended) out of seeing the artistry involved in making a martial arts movie. Kung fu flicks, at their best, are masterworks of inventive choreography and physical prowess equal to the best dancing of, say, Astaire, Rogers, Kelly, and company.

True, Chow takes a cheat by bringing in wires, CGI, and other effects trickery. But this doesn’t cheapen the film like you’d expect. In fact, it heightens it; to Chow, everything has a chance to be used in his martial arts fantasy, be it a musical instrument or rings from a tailor’s shop. Effects allow Chow the chance to exaggerate everything. It’s a dream that flies so high that even when you’re not laughing, you’ll find yourself grinning ear to ear.

Chow’s over-the-topness may not go over well with some, but that’s to be expected. But if you’re in the mood for overplayed-yet-unbustingly successful comedy and insane, endlessly inventive kung fu fantasy action, then come see Chow’s world. It’s an explosion of solid silly fun, kung fu style.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=10619&reviewer=392
originally posted: 05/09/05 23:34:43
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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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