(This is the Kung Fu Hustle film review, which is a 2004 kungfu action comedy film directed by Stephen Chow)
Stephen Chow is a legendary figure in Asia and especially in Hong Kong’s film industry. His films have always been a hit among the locals as well as to Chinese audiences abroad. This film is one of his newer films that he directed and starred in after the 2000s. It starred plenty of famous casts such as Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Danny Chan and Bruce Leung. This time, we are taking a look at this film from a 2018’s perspective to see if it is able to stand the test of time. Read on the Kung Fu Hustle film review below to find out!
A gangster wannabe Sing and his sidekick Bone want to join the notorious gang Axe Group for fame and money. However, their plans are obstructed when the gang faces heavy defeat from a slump that is packed with Kung Fu Masters. Along the way, Sing meets his childhood love interest who is mute. When the Gang decides to hold Sing responsible for the defeat, he has to find ways to protect the slump people and his loved one. Could he do it with whatever skill he possess?
Kung Fu Hustle Film Review
Kung Fu Hustle is just like any of Stephen Chow’s films, where its story is practically almost non-consistent and is there just for the comedic effect. In a way, it is his signature style and actually fits the film rather well. Its premise does not try to be grand or compelling, and we are shown this fact straight from the beginning of the movie. It helps to make us focus more on the characters and the comedic element and the premise is there just to make the film flow smoothly. Pacing wise it is pretty good, as there is plenty of action, kung fu and comedic moments all mixed up rather well. You will never feel bored as you will be bombarded by nonsensical and over-the-top slapstick that is so Chow’s style.
The characters are the biggest assets to the film and there are many varied characters that are portrayed very well by the actors. For example, Sing and Bone are portrayed to be wannabes who are like losers, and Stephen Chow portrayed it well with his acting. The same goes to the Kung Fu Master Landlords, who are equally fitting to their roles in an outlandish manner. Perhaps the best example goes to the antagonist Beast, acted by Bruce Leung, whose actions on screen seems out of place with his title as Master Killer. But these are all so over-the-top that you just can’t help but enjoy their performances on screen. Music wise, I am pretty surprised at how memorable the main soundtrack is, especially the Axe Gang’s track that still rings in my mind long after I watched the film. Otherwise, the soundtrack resembles the music of 1940s in China, which is used less often in other films. One note that I’m still impressed is with the quality of the CGI in the film, which for a Chinese production at its time is terrifically good quality and does not look as fake like the current Chinese films, and CGI is used in a creative manner.