The cast: Stephen Chow
The director: Stephen Chow
The storyline: Stephen Chow. Ask him, he wrote it.
The bottomline: Hilarious!
What can you expect from a Chinese film made in Hong Kong and dubbed with Indian artistes?
Which is exactly why one would find Kung Fu Hustle to exceed your expectations. It is one madcap entertainer, completely irreverent with special effects to put ‘The Matrix’ to shame and kung fu action that might give Steve Oedekerk a complex. Oedekerk who? The genious behind the kung-fu spoof ‘Kung Pow: Enter the Fist.”
But then ‘Kung Fu Hustle’ is not entirely a spoof like ‘Kung Pow’ though it would fall in the same genre.
Actually, it is a difficult task to slot ‘Kung Fu Hustle’ into any specific genre. It is an action movie with stunts comparable with the best in the martial arts genre. It is a special effects movie with outstretches the best in imagination. It is a martial arts spoof that does not stop at anything. It is visual poetry in motion comparable to John Woo’s style of filmmaking. And at the same time, it is where MAD magazine comicbook humour meets MTV-spoof show and where Tom and Jerry meet Jackie Chan.
There is not too much of a storyline either. A thoroughly incompetent wannabe gangster (Chow) and his friend try to con a low-class neighbourhood with no luck, only to find themselves at the receiving end of some action from the unlikeliest of heroes – a fat landlady and her wastrel of a husband.
The dreaded Axe gang hires the best assassins in the business to fight the duo as Chow finds his way into the gang, only to be beaten to pulp by the demented Beast, the best kung-fu fighter ever, a geeky looking old man.
The duo soons finds out that Chow is the ‘Chosen one’ and the final confrontation fight between the Beast and Chow takes kung-fu farce to new heights, literally!
However silly in thought and idea, the spectacular and gutsy execution makes you forget the inanity instantly, such is the charm of this pot pourri of Asian pop culture. Evil stylised villains, the oppressed underdogs fighting back, innocent childhood sweetheart of the hero are all ingredients Asian cinema is so familiar with. Now watch these familiar characters do things you have never seen before.
The background score builds up the tempo to the action sequences and is bound to have your tapping your feet to the rhythm.
The most bizarre, whacky, unpredictable piece of madcap entertainment you will find in one screen and under one roof, only bettered by the Tamil version.
Yes, the Tamil dubbed version ‘Mirattal Adi’ seems to match the sensibility of the visuals more appropriately than the poorly dubbed English version. So for unlimited entertainment, catch the action in Tamil.
The cast: Stephen Chow