Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Kung-Fu Hustle

At the film festival there are usually so few comedies. When seeing thirty films with strong and complex subject matter it is a treat to just set back and be mindlessly entertained. This is one of the most enjoyable movie experiences i've had in a while. It is the Warner Brother's Looney Toons meets the Shaw Brother's kung-fu! Director/Star Stephen Chow has not had his films imported across the ocean to large audiences despite the fact that he constantly beats Jackie Chan and Jet Li at the chinese box office. His movies combine a chinese sense of humour (a strange blend of humilation and violence passed off as farce) with lots of mainstream eastern and western film references. His Shaolin Soccer is a near-masterpiece of madcap lunacy with state of the art special effects and a campy premise.
Here Chow has upped the bar so high, I don't think he will ever top it. To give away the story is to destroy the many, many hilarious surprises that pile on top of each other. Suffice it to say that when the big city axe-gang (who do cheoreographed dance-numbers with their axes in 1930's gangster suits) moves in on pig-sty alley, the local residents aren't going to take it.
It is all very sumptuous and cinematic. It's the Singing in the Rain of Kung-fu films.
I cannot recommend this movie enough! When it plays in North America, and it will play, it is a great night at the movies.
WARNING: The preceding film is cheesy as hell, but a little boys kung-fu wet dream.


Blogger grace said...

ooh... i love me some stephen chow... i love every movie i've ever seen him in. of course, i can't think of a single name of one right now.

5:34 p.m.  
Blogger Kurt Halfyard said...

Grrr: I think this is safe to say, the best Stephen Chow (most westerners are familiar with Shaolin Soccer, but he has many other credits too) film ever made. It's a kung-fu comic masterpiece.

3:00 a.m.  

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