Sunday, January 30, 2005

kung fu hustling

It was set during the 30’s (I hope I have gotten the message loud and clear) in Shanghai where dangerous gangs rule the streets. In the movie the most notorious was the Axe gang. They strike fear into the hearts of honest citizens and for some weird matter they inspire admiration in one young wannabe gangster member (Stephen Chow). One day he wreaks havoc when he recklessly poses as an Axe member and causes a veritable riot between the real gang members and the denizens of a housing project (pig sty) who happen to be strangely well-versed in the art of kung fu.

The first film that I have watched this year. Which is very special since I have to schedule my viewing pleasure because my work demands a lot of my time. And just as I suspected I was not disappointed. The film was hilarious. It brought tears in my eyes (because of laughing). Once again Stephen Chow proves that he is a genius.

I was stunned by the action sequence of the film. It was well thought of. Considering that for quite sometime I grew tired of oriental films, because it has been dominating the movie scene in our country.

Kung Fu Hustle was different. Refreshing. Spectacular. And the best word to describe it is a ‘knock out.’ From the set to the costume it was complementary. I just wish I understood cantonese to better understood the film, some translation was incoherent. But it does not make the movie less incredible.
When they say that Chow is possibly Asia’s biggest onscreen star next to Jackie Chan, I definitely agree.

Kung Fu Hustle is Chow’s joyous homage to the Shaw Brothers’ movies of the late sixties and early seventies. The director affectionately revives classic Shaw tropes from Western-style kung fu showdowns to dance sequences featuring tuxedoed mobsters.
One surprising thing is that Chow employs veteran stuntman Yuen Wah – who was Bruce Lee’s stunt double for back flips and went to the Peking Opera School with Jackie Chan – as the seemingly shy landlord who turns out to be a kung fu master. When I first saw his face I said that he really looks familiar and I was not wrong.
Almost every element of this film has its origin in the movies, but they are taken to new heights here through the use of special effects, clever wire-fu tricks and the incomparable choreography of both Sammo Hung (still remember him) and Yuen Wo Ping.
The truth is that even those unfamiliar with the references will enjoy the film; the intricate plot barrels along, the jokes are relentless and the fighting sequences – a vortex of kicks and swift punches – are exhilarating. The film’s unforgettable ending conveys the sheer pleasure in Chow’s nostalgia and no one will be able to resist sharing his enthusiasm.

Grace Bible Church