Film Rec: Kung Fu Hustle

Has anyone heard of an eye doctor asking a patient to test out two new brands of contacts by wearing one brand in one eye and a different in the other? Just seems a bit odd to me, though I'll still try it out. I will not be pleased if this somehow messes with my tiny text reading ability as I have a three hour class devoted entirely to Joyce's Dubliners tonight and I really don't want to have to walk out with a screaming migraine or inability to read small text. Film Rec: Kung Fu Hustle What happens when the Chinese kung fu movie is reinterpreted to reflect the typically Western (specifically US) reaction to them? How about when this comedic interpretation is amplified with cartoon violence and over the top powers that would seem ridiculous in anime fan fiction? You wind up with Kung Fu Hustle, written and directed by Stephen Chow. It's funny. If you view it for nothing else, understand that you will see an amusing comedy with some great fight sequences. Are the characters the most developed ever? No. But that's part of the point and style of writing. Its paying tribute to and mocking the conventions of the kung fu film. So one dimensional characters - like a gay tailor, a mute girl, a bumbling accomplice, an evil mob boss - make sense. Though the expectations of these characters are flipped in unexpected ways. Chow makes seemingly flat characters empathetic so that we are laughing at (always at) and, at times, with them. The plot is handled well. There are clues strewn throughout revealing who is really who and what the purpose is. For example, there's a good reason Chow has the landlord shoved out the window by his wife after a fight. Actually, two good reasons that both change the story in pretty significant ways. While the film is an over the top comedy, the screenplay is layered in a way to allow more unusual plot points to come across naturally, though the screen is filled with Looney Tunes graphics and wire work. Try it. You'll like it. It's fun and surprisingly well made, especially considering the massive amount of wire work and CGI that feels real given the context.

Labels: film rec