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Kung Fu Hustle
DVD disk
08.07.2005 By: Quigles
Kung Fu Hustle order
Director:
Stephen Chow

Actors:
Stephen Chow
Wah Yuen
Qiu Yuen

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
During a time where the notorious Axe Gang dominates all that stands in their way, a band of unsuspecting kung-fu masters take a stand to protect their town, Pig Stye Alley.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Take the insanely gleeful brutality of Tarantino flicks, the goofy wackiness of a Saturday morning cartoon (Bugs Bunny, anyone? How ‘bout some Road Runner?), the super-slick and out-of-this-world martial arts fighting from Yuen Wo-ping**, and then suddenly... BAMF! POW! SHAZAM! KUNG FU HUSTLE is born. (My goal from day one of reviewing has been to put the words “bamf” and “shazam” in one of my reviews – score!)

Stephen Chow’s blend of comedy and action doesn’t always flow perfectly, but it is always entertaining. There isn’t a moment that goes by without laugh-a-second jokes, gnarly fight scenes, cartoonishly clever gags, or non-stop homages bombarding the audience. It’s an extremely satisfying experience, albeit a little exhausting, but it works, and that’s what matters. Plus, it feels so different than everything we get from Hollywood, and heck, even other Asian flicks. Movies like HERO and HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS are masterpieces of filmmaking, but lately, they seem to be the a little too similar; fantastical fighting sequences with a love story reminiscent of a soap opera. With KUNG FU HUSTLE, you get all the good stuff without any of the lovey-dovey hooha.

By far my favorite aspect of the flick, which is also what helps to make it feel so different, is the characters. To start there’s the Landlady, who’s a mean hard-ass that can run faster than I can diss Uwe Boll, and her husband, the Landlord, who is a goofy scoundrel that uses balance as a weapon (and also gets the snot kicked out of him by his wife). That’s just a small helping of the countless characters that you’re sure to reminisce about after the film has finished. I can see why certain people wouldn’t be totally “into” the style of the movie, but those of who are up for the wackiness should be ready for some fun. Regardless of what you think the movie will be like, I can almost guarantee it will surprise you.

**Yuen Wo-ping is the action choreographer of such films as KILL BILL, THE MATRIX, UNLEASHED, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, and of course, KUNG FU HUSTLE. You go Wo-ping!
THE EXTRAS
KUNG FU HUSTLE comes complete with plenty of special features, all of which are engaging, despite being more entertaining than enlightening.

Commentary (with Stephen Chow, Lam Tze Chung, Tin Kai Man, and Chan Kwok Kwun): The participants here are 2 actors, the Axe Gang advisor, and of course Chow, the director/star. It’s a very fun listen, or rather, a very fun read, because you’ll have to put subtitles on to know what they’re saying. It doesn’t get very technical, but it’s very funny and semi-informing. A great extra for any true fan.

TV Special: Behind the Scenes of Kung Fu Hustle (41:55): Also in subtitles, this very entertaining featurette gives us the lowdown on various aspects of the movie, including special effects, fight choreography, and the actors. There’s plenty of behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and even humorous trivia bits. Definitely worth checking out.

Deleted Scenes (4:09): There are two of them, and both would be better described as “alternate scenes”. Neither of them are all that exciting, and the scenes that replaced them are much more suited to the film. Still, they’re worth checking out just for the hell of it.

Ric Meyers Interview with Stephen Chow (27:54): One of the only extras where subtitles aren’t needed. This discussion piece is a great listen, with Stephen Chow spilling all the information on how he got to where he is, what he was thinking when making the film, as well as his inspirations behind his work. The only bad thing is the irritating Ric Meyers, who tended to get on my last nerve. However, he does ask the right questions needed to make this a compelling interview, so I cannot complain too much.

Outtakes and Bloopers (4:46): Not outright hilarious, but still amusing to watch. Most of these are just simple flubs, but there are also a few action choreography issues that are pretty funny.

International Poster Exploration Gallery: We get about 15 different posters, which range from pretty cool to f*cking hideous, to put it bluntly.

TV Spots: Wow. 15 whole TV spots, or as I like to call them, mini-trailers. Not something I care too much for.

There are also 11 Previews for other Sony pictures to check out.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
No wonder this movie is Hong Kong’s largest grossing film ever, because frankly, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the frantic and bizarre world that’s been created by comic genius Stephen Chow. Fans of SHAOLIN SOCCER, Chow’s previous effort, should know exactly what I’m talking about. And if you don’t what I’m talking about, then what are you waiting for? Go out and pick up a copy of KUNG FU HUSTLE right now.
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