Saturday, February 6, 2016

Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

Running Time: 98 Minutes (of off the wall fun).

Directed by: Stephen Chow

Staring: Stephen Chow

“In Shanghai, China in the 1940s, a wannabe gangster aspires to join the notorious ‘Axe Gang’ while residents of a housing complex exhibit extraordinary powers in defending their turf.” –IMDB

How I Discovered It: I saw the trailer below when I went to see V for Vendetta with my good friend, Chris.  About halfway through the trailer I thought to myself, "I have no idea what is going on but I love it."

My Iconic Scene: Which one do I choose?  I'll just stick with the scene where two hustlers in search of a free haircut pretend to be members of the feared Axe Gang.  Of course the actual Axe Gang inevitably shows up and then comes a sequence in which we discover that three of the slum's tenants are more than know what, I'm not doing it justice.  Just watch the movie.  

Who Should Embrace This Movie: The preview above is probably one of the most honest movie trailers in terms of capturing the spirit of the movie it's advertising.  If you've watched it you have probably already decided whether you want to run out and grab it (by "run out" I mean put it on your Netflix queue) or just go on with your life.

This is a movie for people who love cult films.  Particularly the kind that exist in a reality all in their own and don't provide any explanation as to why laws of physics suddenly revert to that of a Bugs Bunny cartoon.  The ideal audience member will just shrug and play along with the movie simply because it's so darn fun.

That being said, Kung Fu Hustle is far from being an underground film no one "gets."  When it was first released it was the highest grossing film in Hong Kong history. 

One of the things I love about this movie is that it's one of the few films I have ever seen that combines essentially every genre you can think of.  Just looking at the trailer we have Western, Musical, Fantasy, Film-Noir, Martial Arts (obviously), Slapstick Comedy, and War (the movie itself also gives us smatterings of romance, coming of age and horror).  All of these elements are mixed together to create a fever dream hodgepodge that never becomes so overwhelming you stop having a good time.

So at the end of the day, even if you prefer your movies to be a little more down to earth, check out this one because there are so many ingredients in the stew there will probably be something you like.

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