Rate Kung Fu Hustle
Kung Fu Hustle (Hong Kong 2004)
Director: Stephen Chow Sing-Chi
Cast: Stephen Chow Sing-Chi, Eva Huang Shengyi, Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Leung Siu-Lung
Action choreography: Yuen Woo-Ping, Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
Stephen Chows latest film might not be a masterpeace, but nevertheless itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s one of the funniest movies of the year. The film is set in the 1940Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s Shanghai ruled by the feared Axe Gang. Chow plays Ah Sing, a wannabe gangster who wants to become a member of the gang. In order to do that he first needs to prove heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s up to the job.
The first big surprise comes right at the beginning. The opening scene is more violent than I was expecting from a comedy film. Kung Fu Hustle is mostly light hearted comedy but it features some physically and emotionally violent scenes. I found these scenes quite unnecessary for a film of this kind. Another problem is there are a couple of scenes that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really work. Also, at times Sing almost becomes a supporting character. Other character are good too, but Stephen Chow is so great in his role that the movie automatically loses some of itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s charm when heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s offscreen.
Those things are the pretty much the only flaws in this otherwise great movie. Kung Fu Hustle reminds a bit of Shaolin Soccer when it comes to special effects. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m usually against cgi but Chow is taking it so over the top that one canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help but to be entertained. Besides, those effects look a million times better and cooler that the ones in big Hollywood films. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really a miracle how they can do it with such a small budget (2.4 million US$). The whole movie has really cool visual look. The steets of 40Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s Shanghai have never looked better.
Stephen Chow has managed to create some of the funniest scenes in recent memory. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a couple of cgi assisted scenes that easily top the ones seen in Shaolin Soccer in pure craziness. The film had Yuen Woo Ping and Sammo Hung as action choreographers, but I have a feeling that Chow himself is the man behind most of the ideas. Sammo and Yuen were probably there just to make his visions come true.
Worth mentioning is a minor sub plot about the relationship between Sing and a mute girl selling ice cream. The girls is played by Eva Shengyi Huang (her first film role), and she is fantastic. She (naturarry) doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say a word during the movie but she totally impressed me, even though her role was short. I wish it was longer because you could build a movie on these two characters.
ColumbiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s region 3 release is lacking extras but otherwise this is a top notch dvd. The picture quality is exellent and a DTS track is icluded. Subtitles are great, too. Several releases of this film exist but the dvd itself is the same in all releases. More info about the dvdÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in Stephen Chow topic (http://www.tarantino.info/forum/index.php?topic=3062.0)