Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
Reviewed by: RLM on 2005-08-04
Summary: Mixed feelings but thumbs up over all...
Stephen Chow's humor is obviously morphing into something more sophisicated while at the same time remaining at the 'over the top' level. Kung Fu Hustle is a prime example. It is a very slickly crafted and edited 'old school' martial arts story blended with Stephen's unique humor. This humor can be difficult to take in at times, such as the ultra-violent opening scene that mingles a Michael Jackson gangster style dance number with violence (including women). It is definitely a sight to behold! We do cheer and fret for the heros in the film and all who watched the film with me were completely satisfied with the ending. The martial arts combine a serious dose of Matrix like CGI, bone crushing hand to hand fighting and even a wink and a nod to Deadful Melody! I, for one, was glad not to have to sit through watching yet another 'martial arts training' montage. Stephen's transition from thug wanna be to master was faster and more uneventful than a Wendy's drive thru order. The story line of the movie - ruthless gansters taking over a slum - and running afowl of retired kung fu masters was really quite fun to watch as was the comeuppance meated out to the gangsters (and the main villian - the Beast). Consistent with other reviewers, I too thought the love story to be under developed. However, when it was the focus of the movie, it worked well.
Rating - 8/10
Reviewer Score: 8