Starring: Stephen Chow, Yuen Qiu, Yuen Wah
Director: Stephen Chow
Running Time: 99 mins
Kung Fu Hustle is a Hong Kong film about a battle between a notorious criminal gang named the ‘Axe Gang’ and the residents of a small housing complex, where the gang find that the residents’ powers are more than a match for their own abilities.
Parody movies are, in general, completely bonkers, but Kung Fu Hustle surely takes the cake as the most ridiculous. From start to finish, it’s full of hilariously insane martial arts sequences, crazy characters and bizarre set pieces, and although it may not have the most exciting or interesting story, it does have a brilliant sense of humour that provides a good deal of laughs.
The opening stages of the film are by far the best, as the shock value of this complete insanity really works a treat in making hilarious and entertaining martial arts fights. You’re thrown almost immediately into the craziness of it all, and the madness basically doesn’t ever let up until the end.
One of the issues with wuxia films is that they’re not the swiftest and most consistently exciting movies. Sometimes, the fights go on for way too long, and are often totally unbelievable that it’s too easy to lose interest, but that’s what Kung Fu Hustle really picks up on most.
So, prepare for fights with people summoning flying demons using a string instrument, getting their feet chopped off in mid-walk by a flying axe, screaming to oblivion to defeat their enemies, and even coming back from the dead countless times despite being thrown off of buildings or punched to death.
All of that is a hell of a lot of fun to watch, however only up to a point. The main issue with this film is that it never really renews itself as it goes along. The plot is already not the most exciting or interesting, but that’s not a problem when you’re having so much fun at the beginning.
However, after about an hour, the insanity becomes way too repetitive, and almost falls into the same trap as real martial arts films do, making overlong fight sequences that add nothing to the story and are just totally unbelievable, and not funny any more, which makes the final half of the movie at times tough to soldier through.
Overall, you’ll definitely have a good time with Kung Fu Hustle, and although it doesn’t maintain a hilarious and exciting level of insanity right the way through, there are a lot of laughs to be had, and that’s why it gets a 7.2 from me.