Stephen Chow is on a roll. As the writer, director, producer and star of his new movie, 'Kung Fu Hustle', he demonstrates to the world again that he's a filmmaker who knows how to make a fun movie and can be counted on coming through with the goods. 'Kung Fu Hustle' is Chow's first movie since he released the wildly successful 'Shaolin Soccer', and while 'Kung Fu Hustle' is a different kind of film than Soccer, they both share Chows passion and talent as a storyteller.
Unlike 'Shaolin Soccer', which depicted a modern day twist on how martial arts could be utilized, 'Kung Fu Hustle' is a much more traditional martial arts movie, set in the 1940's where gangs kept their own brand of justice and Kung Fu ruled the streets. 'Hustle' captures the flavor and feel of the Bruce Lee movies that Stephen Chow grew up on, and spins in out in a light-hearted action yarn that features intense combat sequences with a laugh out loud comedic edge. But the homage doesn't end there, Hustle pays tribute to a lot of classic action films and includes a few scenes that play as a good version of a Matix-esque, Agent Smith moment.
Both of Chows movies share the idea of seemingly regular people, who are gifted with amazing Shaolin powers that have let their magic go dormant while they try to get on in the day-to-day world. In Hustle, this pacing is hilarious as characters you are introduced to in one way take on an entirely new dimension when they are called to defend their community.
For the production, Chow enlisted numerous actors from classic Kung Fu movies, however its' former Bond girl Yuen Qiu, as the chain-smoking Landlady that steals the show. Her acerbic manner with matching scowl
Will have you rolling in the aisles, and as the movie peels back the layers of her character to reveal that despite her powerful Lions Roar, she's a protective den mother underneath.
And like 'Shaolin Soccer' before it, 'Kung Fu Hustle' continues to show our planet that exciting effects laden entertainment doesn't just come from Hollywood anymore. Stephen Chow can be added to the list of must watch filmmakers you can depend on for a fun ride.
Adding early Stephen Chow movies like the 'King of Comedy' to my rental que, for Movie Magazine this is Purple.
© 2005 - Purple - Air Date: 4/20/05
Kung Fu Hustle
China - 2004