Kung Fu Hustle
It’s the 1930s in this fully subtitled action comedy, and Shanghai China is ruled by a ruthless street gang, called the Axes, who quickly put an end to anyone who dares to challenge them. Writer-director Stephen Chow plays an Axes wannabe. When the landlord (Yuen Wah), landlady (Yuen Qiu) and residents of a slum resist the Axes, the gang is understandably angered and sends in reinforcements to show the people who is really in control. But they come up against several kung-fu masters who happen to be living secretly in the slum. The masters successfully preserve the slum but know that it is only a matter of time before the Axes retaliate with highly trained kung-fu killers. When that happens, the slum and its masters are bound to fall to the merciless Axes unless someone more powerful can come to their aid.
I am always up for a good comedy, especially slapstick. I am also a fan of kung-fu movies, so I figured that combining the two was a great idea. I enjoyed some of the comedy in “Kung-Pow: Enter the Fist,” a slapstick kung fu movie which came out a couple years ago. However, the martial arts scenes were horrible since the movie wanted to be a kung-fu version of “Airplane” or “Hot Shots.” “Kung Fu Hustle” hit (no pun intended) exactly what I was looking for in martial arts. The special effects and cinematography were excellent, but the comedy aspect was terrible as I only laughed a few times (including courtesy laughs). When walking to your theater be sure to hustle past this one.
Obviously, there was an ample amount of violence in this film which wasn’t limited to only the martial arts. There was a scene in which a man’s leg was cut off by an axe and another with a man’s head being the “severtee.” I don’t know if it was a Chinese version of pant sagging, but a man wore his pants so low that his butt showed the entire film, about five times. Unless you speak Chinese, you will not hear any profanities in this film. But since the movie is subtitled, you will see about twenty-three or so.