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Kung fu hustle was a film released late 2005 which at first when i got this film i thought was going to actually be a serious martial arts film, here was where i massively misanticpated what was coming next. The next hour and a half entailed one of the most entertaining, weird and twisted comedies that i had ever seen. I definitely think this is going to attract the likes of those who find films such as Team America great and funny.
The film starts off loosely based on two young Chinese men one skinny and one fat imitating the notorious "axe gang" and from here the plot just gets crazy and indescribable, the film is a very childish plot that really does have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish but also with laughter throughout. Clever directing has you feeling sad and disconcerted for the character to only just be shocked and burst out into laughter. The further and further you watch in to the film the more you cannot believe your eyes of what is going on. The film is so far-fetched that if you are not a fan of childish humor then you should definitely steer clear but if you're opened minded you could find that this is a great film.
In conclusion i do think that this is a great film that will have you laughing all the way through it however due to it's childish humor nature some more "mature" people will probably not enjoy it and just be annoyed by watching it. I do think that if you're opened minded and just want a giggle this is a great choice.
Kung Fu Hustle is hugely entertaining film from Stephen Chow. It was released in 2005 and was directed by Chow, who is also the star of the film.
The basic story of the film is that Chow plays a wannabe, loudmouthed loser who doesn't know hes a kung fu master. A group of Black suited gangsters called the 'Axe Gang' show up to cause trouble for everyone and stumble upon three kung fu masters in a slum. After the masters beat them up, they hire two assassins to take them out which them reveals secrets, which changes Chow's character forever.
The plot of the film is quite silly but a lot of fun. This film has some of the best and most innovative action that I have seen in a long time. There is a lot of inspiration taken from American cartoons such as wild e coyote and the marx Brothers. Its chiefly a comedy movie with some of the zaniest characters I have ever seen. there are also some quite bizarre moments here such as the axe man song which will leave you wondering "whats going on?"
The fights are amazing here and they were choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping, who choreographed The Matrix. They will leave you wide eyes at times and its easy to see why Chow is tipped to be a star and the next Jackie Chan. He's multi-talented here as he both stars and directs.
The film does suffer from being difficult to follow at times and some may not like the cartoony nature of the violence here. However I think that this is part of the charm of the film, I mean a film where the characters run like sonic the hedgehog isn't really mean't to be taken too seriously.
So leave your brain at the door and you will have a treat of a film!
Stephen Chow took fame in the West for his insane comedy kung fu film Shaolin Soccer. He strikes again this time with the just as insane comedy kung fu film Kung Fu Hustle, where a village is terrorized by the evil Axe Gang, and it's up to some fighting villagers and the help of the seemingly inept Stephen Chow to save it.
If anyone has seen Chow's previous film, they'd know what they were in for. I hadn't when I saw this, and was a bit reluctant (because I had seen Kung Pow! and thought it was awful), but I put it on and it was brilliant. Kung Fu Hustle is so over-the-top it sort of comes straight back from under again. It makes the Looney Tunes look like film noir, with its crazy fight scenes and cartoon CGI (the biggest influence is seen in the chase scene where the Landlady is chasing Chow's character down the road in very strange Road Runner style).
The man who choreographed the fights was the same man who did the fights for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Matrix and you can definitely tell. Adding Chow's comic touch and the film is less a martial arts movie and more a quest to see how far they can get before reality gives away and they all become 2D cartoons. It's continuous fights, but its not without its plots of decent character. In between the totally off-the-wall violence is the story and I don't want to give much away, but Stephen Chow isn't just the useless pauper he is shown to be at the beginning, and there's a romance of some sort. The characters are pretty believable, in much the same way Bugs Bunny is.
Chow takes the wirework style that has made the martial arts genre so good and cranks it up many notches, providing a film that will entertain you and completely blow your mind away. If you want fights, comedy and a bit of insanity, this film is for you.
Kung Fu Hustle is a frenetic comedy action film directed and starring the excellent Stephen Chow.
The film takes place in 1940's China where Sing (Chow) a petty thief tries to bully the locals pretending to be part of the ferocious Axe Gang, unfortunately whilst he's trying to blag goods in this way the real Axe gang turn up and he is forced to side with the locals of Pig Sty Alley who have some surprising Kung Fu skills in defeating the evil gang.
Stephen Chow ... Sing
Xiaogang Feng ... Crocodile Gang Boss (as Feng Xiao Gang)
Wah Yuen ... Landlord
Zhi Hua Dong ... Donut
Kwok-Kwan Chan ... Brother Sum (as Danny Chan)
Chi Chung Lam ... Bone (Sing's Sidekick) (as Lam Tze Chung)
Siu-Lung Leung ... The Beast
Qiu Yuen ... Landlady
Kai Man Tin ... Axe Gang Advisor
Kang Xi Jia ... Harpist #1
Hak On Fung ... Harpist #2
Shengyi Huang ... Fong
Suet Lam ... Axe Gang Vice General
Chi Ling Chiu ... Tailor
I thought this film was really good fun, the kung fu is incredibly fast and frenetic but its a really good laugh too.
This is a bulldozer of a film, its not arty, its not pretentious it is just slapstick kung fu, it was a smash hit around the world and a great follow up to the fun Shaolin Soccer. This film reminds me of the old style westerns where a hero with a past turns up and helps the locals rid the town of the bad guys but the characters are hilarious with old ladies and fat men having shocking fighting skills, its a mixture of computer game, western and American dumb-ass comedy.
The film has a real heart to it, it is the kind of film where you want to shout out when a baddie gets smashed, it is choreographed by the man who did the Matrix special effects, its loud, proud and a blinkin good laugh.
The Dvd is available on amazon.com for £3.98 and includes:
'Kung Fu Hustle' is a Chinese comedy/action film, originally released in the UK in 2004.
My husband suggested I watch 'Kung Fu Hustle' without any reason beyond 'You'll like it'. He is a kung fu and action film fanatic, and he knows I always just tolerate watching these movies - 'Warrior King', a Thai film about an elephant trainer on the rampage in Australia, was the last such movie he made me sit through. He was so positive, however, that I would love 'Kung Fu Hustle' that I submitted to a viewing.
I absolutely loved it! I am a big fan of Baz Luhrmann's films - particularly, the unique cinematography and the over-the-top acting - it's old-fashioned, Big Top entertainment, truly transporting you for two and some odd hours. From the opening scene, featuring the 'freeze frame' of 1940s police officers, followed quickly by the Axe Gang's dandy-ish line dance as they climb the ranks of the Shanghai underworld, to the slapstick comedy and awe-inspiring CGI effects, I was alternately reminded immediately of 'Moulin Rouge!', and aware that I had really never seen anything like this before. It's so much more than just a free-for-all 1.5 hour kung fu marathon. The storyline is compelling, the acting is fantastic (the comedy bits are particularly good - I genuinely laughed out loud several times), and the fighting sequences are all you could hope for. Unlike 'The Matrix', which has been parodied so many times over now that watching it now is nothing more than unrewarding, 'Kung Fu Hustle' is exciting and vibrant.
If you typically shy away from kung fu or other martial arts-themed films, there's no reason to run from 'Kung Fu Hustle' - any movie fan will find something to find enjoy with this film. Comedy, action, drama, and romance - it's literally all here! This film definitely deserves at least one watch.
Kung Fu Hustle is a 2004 action comedy directed, starring and written by Stephen Chow.
In 1940s Shanghai the criminal gangs rule the streets, the most prominent being The Axe Gang, so named as it's members primarily use them as weapon of choice. Only poor areas are safe from them since they have nothing the gangs would want. Into one such area, Pigsty Alley, comes Sing (Stephen Chow) and Bone (Lam Chi Chung) who pretend to be part of the Axe Gang in order to shake down the residents. This inadvertently draws the attention of the real Axe gang, and to protect the other residents 3 kung fu masters reveal their true identities. From here on, it's an escalating battle between the Axe Gang and the residents of Pigsty Alley, and Sing eventually has to choose between good and evil.
Following on from Chow's previous hit, Shaolin Soccer, this continues in the same vein of using CGI-augmented martial arts to create what is essentially a living cartoon, particularly in one chase sequence which is an homage to road runner! This is also a very funny film, using slapstick and sight gags to great effect. The loony tunes cartoons aren't the only pop culture references - there are lines from Spiderman, a scene similar to The Shining and a costume reference to the one worn by the late, great Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon. The action is handled well, providing with brilliantly inventive martial arts sequences and it's obvious that Chow is a talented director.
The storyline itself is fairly silly and some character motivations change with barely any explanation, but the strength of the film is meant to be the comedy and action - in this it succeeds.
Having only seen the dubbed version of the film, it's difficult to gauge but I can say that Chow appears to give a charismatic performance. The voice acting seems intentionally cheesy, in keeping with the silly atmosphere of the rest of the movie so as a result it is difficult to comment too much on the actor's performances.
This is a film that always brings a smile to my face when I watch it, hopefuly it will do the same for you.
Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle is as ridiculous a film as you are likely to find - it is essentially what happens if you transpose a cartoon into live action. Aided by some impressive CGI, Chow has made something resembling a wacky, more violent West Side Story.
Various gang are vying for power in 1930s Shanghai, most notably the dangerous and seemingly unstoppable Axe Gang, led by the infamous Brother Sum holding dystopic supremacy over the town's citizens. Essentially, it's a martial arts action film that focuses just as much on ludicrous set pieces as it does on the kung fu fighting. Some of the chaos here truly is well designed - the visual effects in particular have recieved a lot of praise. Whilst I do admire the film's energy, I was hoping for it to be a little more focused, and I can't profess to have loved this film. I really do hold what it was TRYING to do in high esteem, but I don't think that Chow nailed it entirely. A lot of the action goes on for a long, long, LONG time, an doesn't always connect. For an action nut like me, you know that something has to be awry when I'm complaining that an action scene is too long!
"Kung Fu Hustle" goes all out with its decent premise, although arguably protracts the cartoon-esque fight scenes to interminable length. It is certainly advisable to watch the amusing English dub, although essentially, the film amounts to little more than one ridiculous showdown after another.
Stephen Chow isnt a name Id come across before, but after this film, expect to be seeing a lot more of him in years to come. As a comedy actor, hes been amusing Hong Kong audiences for years, but its his last two films, Shaolin Soccer, and this, Kung Fu Hustle, which have earned him worldwide fame.
Although at 42 hes a bit old to be called the next Jackie Chan, the resemblances are there, with his films being a mix of comedy, martial arts and action. And like Jackie Chan, as well as acting and doing all his own stunts, he also writes, produces and edits his own films!
In Kung Fu Hustle, set in 1940s China, a city is being terrorised by the Axe gang, a sophisticated yet deadly group of fighters who kill their victims with - yep, axes. The only place which is safe from the gang is Pig Sty Alley - partly because theyre so poor they have nothing for the gang to steal, but also because the street is filled with martial arts masters, most important amongst them a big, rude landlady with a scream that literally blows you away.
Chow plays a kung fu wannabe, Sing, who dreams of joining the axe gang because the good guys never win. However, fate has a different agenda, and Sing ends up defending the street against not just the gang but also the worlds top killer, known only as The Beast. Perhaps that Buddhist Palm Kung Fu booklet he was given on the street as a child will come in handy at last
Although its not the most thought-provoking or demanding of films, Kung Fu Hustle does actually get a little bit more complicated than that; theres a subplot involving a girl he was friends with as a child, and there are a couple of twists and turns along the way.
It is a bizarre film, seemingly stitched together from equal parts of The Matrix, Gangs of New York, Crouching Tiger and Looney Tunes. In fact, a lot of the best scenes are quite obviously parodies of previous movies - especially the concluding fight scene in which Sing takes on the whole gang of black-suited Axes in an extremely Matrix Reloaded Burly Brawl-esque manner.
Thats not to say that Chow doesnt have a few original ideas of his own up his sleeve - most notably the way he throws in CGI to spice things up a bit. As if the exquisitely choreographed and surprisingly violent fight scenes werent cartoonish enough, he chucks in a fantastic speeded-up roadrunner-style foot chase, and gives his hero a pair of oversized snake-stung lips. It works really well in taking the typical wirework martial arts film just a little bit further, and into more contemporary waters.
Its also strange in that for the first half of the film Chows character isnt even the main focus; the adventures of him and his overweight buddy are more of a side plot to the main events.
The film looks brilliant, if youre willing to accept that the CGI is supposed to be over the top and unbelievable, and if you agree that seeing people fly through the air in slow motion is always cool.
Basically, all I need to tell you about this film is that its riotously entertaining. Dont come into it expecting an elegant martial arts period film, because its not that at all. Also dont expect award-winning performances or a complex Infernal Affairs-style storyline. Come into it expecting to see lots of baddies get their butts kicked in thrilling and over-the-top fight scenes, and to enjoy a few silly visual gags while youre at it. It may not be high-brow stuff, but its very well made, surprisingly funny and -most of all - it sure is fun.
You can purchase Kung Fu Hustle (also known simply as Kung Fu) for £4.95 delivered, from www.dvd.co.uk.
Directed by: Stephen Chow
Stephen Chow Sing
Qiu Yuen Landlady
Wah Yuen Landlord
Suet Lam Axe Gang Boss
Siu-Lung Leung The Beast
Running time: 95 minutes
Classification: 15 (sequences of strong stylized action and violence)
My rating: 4 stars
Stephen Chow, the man behind Shaolin Soccer and God of Cookery amongst others, returned to British cinema screens in 2005, or made his first appearance considering the lack of screens Shaolin soccer was showed on, with his latest comedy martial arts extravaganza.
Kung Fu Hustle is set in 1930's China and is more akin to a cowboy movie with martial arts than anything else. It reminds me a lot of those old Hollywood westerns where the stranger comes to town and helps the locals fight of the evil gang of bandits.
While this is a very simplified description of the film this is where you can see it going right from the very start. So you sit back in your seat, feeling happy that you have spotted the plot, and just enjoy the superb mix of comedy and martial arts that are bound to fill the screen.
You certainly can enjoy the comedic talents of Chow and his cast but you will also soon discover that there is many a twist and turn to this story that you will have expected at first, everything is not quite as straight forward as you may have thought.
Kung Fu Hustle is in the style of a Jackie Chan comedy action adventure, but relies a lot more on CGI tricks to amuse and excite than a Chan film does. This is not to say that the cast don't do those astounding kung fu kicks, jumps etc we come to expect from martial arts based films, just that Chow has aimed at doing something a little different, something a bit more original.
It must be, after all, very difficult to do comedy action and not fall under the shadow of Jackie Chan. So to counter this Chow makes his stories rely on the magics of CGI to show some of the more fantastical elements that occur, and here there are a lot of Chinese 'superpowers' on show.
The story behind Kung Fu Hustle is that of the axe gang, a group of criminals who terrorise the local area and pretty much rule the roost after wiping out the other gang's leaders in a visually stunning opening sequence. A sequence that involves a musical number where the Axe gang dance, interspersed with B&W photos of their killings sounds crazy but it works extremely well. It is a novel approach to showing the gangs rise to power and manages to make it not only fast, bringing you to the main part of the story rapidly, but also very arresting.
Pig Sty Alley though is left alone, a place too poor to attract the attention of the Axe gang and their criminal enterprises. The residents there are ruled over by their landlady, a battleaxe of a woman who is permanently in curlers and with a cigarette in mouth. They fear her and she rules those who live and work there with an iron rod.
Suddenly two strangers appear in the alley, they say they are members of the Axe gang... but are they?
Their appearance though brings this little community to the attention of the Axe gang, a walkover the gang thinks but there are a few surprises hidden up the sleeves of the shop owners and inhabitants of the alley.
Will they manage to keep their homes and shops or will the gang, and their hired assassins, win the day?
And come to that where do the two strangers come into things?
Kung Fu Hustle is a blast, it isn't as good as Shaolin Soccer but is certainly more accessible, mainly due to being a more traditional martial arts spoof while Shaolin Soccer adds in the sports motif that would turn a number of viewers of straight away. If you like the comedy side of Jackie Chan films you should enjoy this just as much, it is different but in the same mould.
Kung Fu Hustle is full of very classy touches, it overuses the CGI but for once it doesn't matter, the CGI is there to show the fantastic, the sort of thing that could never be shown any other way.
The storm cloud that appears as the Axe gang approach, a Fantastic Four like sky rocket calling sign used by the Axe gang and the musician assassins are all uses of CGI that complement the film as opposed to detract from the look.
The CGI usage may become more and more over the top as the film continues but it doesn't become too much until very late on and even then it isn't inappropriate, it fits in with the overall tone of the film.
Kung Fu Hustle is a hugely enjoyable film and should certainly be seen by all Jackie Chan and martial arts fans, but if you think you would like to try something a bit different you should also give it a go, it just about saddles the line between mainstream and non mainstream enough to be enjoyed by everyone.
It is 1930s Hong Kong. When street criminal wannabe Sing and his fat best friend find themselves on their uppers, they decide to try their luck in one of the city's many run down blocks. In Pig Sty Alley they happen upon a barber, where they try to blag free hair cuts by pretending to be members of the infamous Black Axe gang. It is a decision the pair could soon live to regret. Inadvertantly setting off a turf war between the Black Axe gang members and the inhabitants of Pig Sty Alley, the duo can only sit back and watch as, one by one, the inhabitants of Pig Sty Alley reveal their many and varied secrets
Stephen Chow's big-budget, effects-laden Kung-fu spectacular is quite unlike anything I've ever seen before. If you were to imagine a sequel to The Matrix, starring each of the Looney Tunes characters then this might be what you would end up with. The film is utterly, completely mad. It's also pretty fantastic. Leave your preconceptions at the door, open your mind and let Kung-Fu Hustle entertain your world.
The story behind Kung-Fu Hustle is not the strongest you could imagine - it's a loosely comprised tale of good versus evil, with every opportunity to pit one unprepared foe against another explored. This doesn't really matter, of course, because nobody is watching this film to be intellectually stimulated. For most of the film's running time, I found myself sat there, utterly bemused and completely enthralled by the whole thing. Did you like Kill Bill Volume One? If you did, you will LOVE Kung-Fu Hustle.
The Black Axe Gang is a suitably menacing group of thugs, led by a sneering boss with bad teeth and an incompetent sidekick. The gang's reputation is formidable and when they descend upon Pig-Sty Alley, armed to the hilt, you do feel slightly nervous that what you are about to watch is going to be one of those unpleasant massacre scenes. You should fear not, however, for the heroes of Pig-Sty Alley will soon emerge from their curtain shop, from their barber shop and from behind closed doors to see off the insurgants. It transpires, you see that the district is home to three secret Kung-Fu masters, each with a very special gift that is soon employed to force the Black Axe gang members running for their lives. This just makes things worse, of course, and so the Black Axe gang sends in its two best assassins, who make short work of the Kung-Fu masters until .well, I guess that would be telling.
And tempting as it is, that's one thing that you really should avoid with this film. Try not to find out too much about it. Don't reads many reviews. Don't watch any trailers. It's the only way that you protect yourself from finding out too much and spoiling the film's many great surprises. Are you still here? I guess I'd better tell you what I liked so much then.
Visually, the film is pretty stunning. The fight scenes are exceptionally well-choreographed, employing a selection of wire work, CGI and genuine martial artistry. This is thanks to a combination of the skills of Yuen Wo Ping (who also choreographed the fight sequences in Kill Bill Volume One) some excellent special effects and masterful direction that simply draws the eye into the centre of the action, before scattering it around the place with the deluge of bodies and fists. It's incredibly imaginative, and fast-paced, softened only by shorter, calmer comedy sequences between Sing and his unfortunate companion. The stand-out sequence for me came when the three Kung-Fu masters came up against two deadly assassins who simply played tunes out from an oriental harp-like instrument that gave out something a little more dangerous than music. It's a fantastic, furious fight sequence that reminds you why big-budget movies can still be so fulfilling.
The film is full of hilarious characters, most of whom borderline on caricature, but still consistently entertain. Sing, played by the writer and director Stephen Chow (boy, was he busy!) is a scruffy-haired loser, intent on pretending that he can beat everyone up when in fact, in true cartoon fashion, it is normally him that gets the beating. (Look out for the hilarious sequence between him and his best friend, desperately trying to assassinate the landlady of Pig-Sty Alley and desperately getting nowhere.) Xiaogang Fang's Blac Axe gang leader is sneery, sinister and unpleasant, intent on getting his revenge and (clearly) doomed from the beginning. As with any such bad guy, he has a suitably incompetent assistant on whom he can take out his frustrations for our amusement. But these are not the real stars of the show.
Qui Yien's fag-smoking, lion-screaming landlady is a sight to behold. Seldom out of slippers and curlers, she roughs up most of the neighbourhood and exerts an iron-like grip over the inhabitants for reasons that don't become clear until a little further into the film. Utterly over-the-top she is, nonetheless hilarious. When the bad guys come to town, her reaction is ro run up three flights of stairs at breakneck speed in order that she can hide under her quilt. You just know, however, that there is more to the landlady than meets the eye and as the film progresses she comes into her own more and more. Fantastic! The real bad guy of the piece is a demon named the The Beast, currently incarcerated in a criminal asylum, but rescued by the Black Axe gang to help them take down the inhabitants of Pig Sty Alley. Don't be fooled by his simple appearance - just because he's wearing flip-flops and glasses, doesn't mean that he's a pushover. Snigger.
The tone of the film is very light-hearted. Despite the lengthy, complex fight sequences, the violence is never frightening or graphic. Martial arts films seldom get anything less than a 15 certificate but I would certainly allow younger viewers to watch the film because I think the whole thing is positioned in such an enjoyable way. The music is fantastic too; a bizarre combination of Oriental and western music that is employed throughout the film to perfectly complement the action.
Kung-Fu Hustle is a remarkable film; an oasis of innovative film-making in a desert of crap, big-budget blockbusters. You'll never quite know what to expect - but isn't that what having fun is all about?
Movie-kinetics genius. Kung Fu Hustle takes the gleeful mayhem of Hong Kong action movies, the deadpan physical humor of silent comedies, and the sheer elasticity of Wile E. Coyote cartoons and fuses them into a spectacle that is simple in its joys and mind-boggling in its orchestration. A run-down slum has been poor but peaceful until a bunch of black-suited gangsters called the Axe Gang show up to cause trouble--and discover that, hidden among the humble poor, are three kung fu masters trying to live an ordinary life. But after these martial artists repulse the gang with their flying fists and feet, the gang leader hires a pair of assassins, whose arrival leads to the unveiling of more secrets, until both the screen and the audience are dizzy with hyperbolic fight artistry (choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping, who also choreographed The Matrix). Weaving through this escalating fury is a loudmouthed loser (writer/director/actor Stephen Chow) who suddenly finds himself having to live up to his bragging. Kung Fu Hustle more than lives up to the promise of Chow's previous film, Shaolin Soccer: it's a movie made by an imagination unfettered by the laws of physics. Hugely entertaining. --Bret Fetzer, Amazon.com