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Overall Rating
4.43

Awesome56.84%
Worth A Look: 33.68%
Average: 5.26%
Pretty Bad: 3.68%
Total Crap: 0.53%

14 reviews, 106 user ratings


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Kung Fu Hustle
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by U.J. Lessing

"Pure Comedic Bliss"
5 stars

It’s hard to describe the frenetic energy of Stephen Chow’s films, and Kung Fu Hustle is no exception. The fights are furious and insane. The humor is often stupid and crude but always funny, and the pacing is erratic like a bumper car: the movie speeds up, slams to a stop and tears away again at breakneck speed.

Very rarely does a chaotic mood work for a movie, but Kung Fu Hustle succeeds with ease. Chow manages to cultivate maddening storylines with both brains and muscle, and after viewing tons of careful and methodical action-films (take anything directed by Michael Bay as an example) its so refreshing to see a movie willing to be spontaneous and uninhibited.

The film’s background is a dark city that is more firmly rooted in Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy than any past Kung Fu films. The opening scenes show the city’s violent takeover by ‘The Ax Gang,’a well-dressed and brutal group of gangsters that dress, move and fight in stylish synchronization. Their leader, (Hsiao Liang) is voguish, ruthless and has total control over every part of the city.

All, that is, except Pigsty Alley.

Pigsty Alley is a square of apartment buildings reserved for the ugly, destitute and mentally inept, all under the care of a mercilessly loud and demanding landlady (Qiu Yuen.) Pigsty Alley is a delightful mix of the downtrodden and the optimistic, reminiscent of both Robert Altman’s Sweet Haven from Popeye and Jean Renoir’s slums in The The Lower Depths.

These worlds peacefully coexist until a pathetic conman (Stephen Chow) and his chubby sidekick (Chi Chung Lam) wander into Pigsty Alley disguised as ‘Ax Gang’ members in an attempt to swindle the residents. Their actions trigger a turf war that brings many powerful (and magical) fighters out of the woodwork. The ensuing battles are back-to-back, original and satisfying.

Kung Fu Hustle is augmented with outlandish CGI effects. The hazard of using computer-generated special effects is that the results are so carefully planned that the meticulousness interferers with the natural pace of the movie, but in Kung Fu Hustle, the effects are giddy, breathtaking, and just plain fun.

Every promotional item I’ve seen for Kung Fu Hustle carries the Roger Ebert quote, "Imagine a film in which Jackie Chan and Buster Keaton meet Quentin Tarantino and Bugs Bunny.” While listing a number of entertainers that would make any film nerd salivate is a nice way to promote a deserving film, Ebert’s statement is inaccurate. Tarrentino, Keaton, Chan and Bugs may celebrate chaos, but the focus is on characters that manipulate and ultimately dominate their environments.

If a comparison can be made, I would liken Kung Fu Hustle to Fatty Arbuckle’s silent films and Bob Clampett’s Daffy Duck shorts. Chow joins the ranks of these masters of the ludicrous by creating blissful absurdity and letting it plow through his characters like a tornado. We don’t enjoy them getting blown away, but we just love watching them enjoying the ride.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=10619&reviewer=396
originally posted: 04/08/05 22:23:56
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. For more in the 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/16/14 Fgwtryky USA 5 stars
8/05/14 crgfyugui USA 5 stars
7/16/14 rxmcpjy USA 3 stars
4/11/14 caegywyq USA 4 stars
4/10/14 Hdqlplrx USA 4 stars
2/17/14 Begprmny USA 3 stars
2/14/14 Ggwlefjf USA 2 stars
2/01/14 Juomsjbo USA 3 stars
1/31/14 xoqlhbea USA 2 stars
1/29/14 Yrwmzypx USA 3 stars
1/27/14 Hygvbwlx USA 4 stars
1/23/14 Ioshkrzx USA 4 stars
1/19/14 Jcuftdcw USA 2 stars
8/29/13 ehjmlyar USA 3 stars
4/02/13 Atari TwentySixHundred Flaxman, totally missed the mark. This film is beautiful, fun, and exciting! 5 stars
1/05/10 stephan chow fan forever ok.. if you want to get the full effects of the movie, then learn chinese (puns and stuff) 5 stars
12/23/09 Cody This movie is one of the best I've ever seen and I am waiting for the 2010 sequel 5 stars
8/01/09 VISHNU SHARMA I LOVE SUCH MOVIE 5 stars
8/30/08 Shaun Wallner The Action was Amazing! 5 stars
3/13/08 ako excellent film by Chow with indepth understanding of the 3 level of Kung Fu. 5 stars
6/06/07 tracey chambers great movie. funny as hell. 5 stars
5/06/07 fools♫gold Die?! In this racket? 5 stars
4/18/07 David Pollastrini pretty silly! 2 stars
2/07/07 AJ Muller Drops laughs and ass-whuppins our way in old school WB style. Awesome. 4 stars
1/09/07 Drew Galletti As a kung-fu nerd, a well done, humorous homage to the genre 5 stars
12/08/06 UGB Definately worth a look - I thought it pretty funny 4 stars
7/06/06 drydock54321 just like a live action cartoon. Love that lion roar. 5 stars
5/05/06 Jason Terrible, unfunny movie. I'd rather watch a Tony Jaa movie 1 stars
3/31/06 Steb A kung fu comedy! What more could you ask for? 5 stars
2/12/06 brewt hustle me good 4 stars
1/01/06 metalhead Kung Fu Hustle is Freakin Sweet! One of the greatest movies ever made. 5 stars
11/16/05 Adrian Unique in every aspect...and thats what makes it so damn good and fun to watch. 5 stars
10/14/05 eddiejohns Funny and action-packed. I liked this combo. 4 stars
10/14/05 Indrid Cold A cross between "Crouching Tiger" and "Kung Pao"; dumb but entertaining. 4 stars
9/24/05 Mark Radburn A Kick-Ass Asian movie, A must-see 5 stars
9/22/05 Fritz Kind of amusing, but not as funny as it thinks it is. 3 stars
9/17/05 millersxing riki tiki tembo no sa rembo chari bari ruchi pip peri pembo 5 stars
9/11/05 Rever_Bear-Trap This RATING says it all! 5 stars
9/11/05 Alex Robert Rodriguez died 5 stars
9/09/05 Phil M. Aficionado The more I think about it, the better I like it; stunningly chaotic and funny and lively 5 stars
9/02/05 Zack it pretty sweet 3 stars
9/02/05 JFK great asian comedy. 4 stars
8/29/05 Quigley doesn't deliver what it promises. the CG wasn't great and neither were the fight scenes. 3 stars
8/28/05 Tom Burns This movie was amazing. 5 stars
8/25/05 Kat Scrumtrilacent with a hint of stellar. 5 stars
8/23/05 Nick Great movie.Up there with Spiderman. 5 stars
8/15/05 John Kung Fu Hustle R1 DvD is edited. Blood has been taken out and a scene has been shortened 4 stars
8/15/05 Ebru Germeyan Not even a Cartoon movie could top this movie 5 stars
8/14/05 othree next level. solid story, cast, imagery, believable cheeziness 5 stars
8/13/05 Justin Kline Funnier Than Heck 4 stars
7/17/05 Kathy terPlugg Not as good as KUNG POW: ENTER THE FIST. 3 stars
7/05/05 jim even better than Revenge of the Sith 5 stars
6/25/05 Sean Poon It has more depth than it appears to be 5 stars
6/14/05 jameth burketh Absolutely hillarious-gets better with repeated viewing. A very clever film 5 stars
6/09/05 Gray It was fun 4 stars
6/07/05 captain craig the more I see it, the more I like it 5 stars
5/27/05 juli Matrix fights ripped off Hong Kong movies to begin with 5 stars
5/22/05 Cham Like watching a live-action violent cartoon. 4 stars
5/21/05 kemalx78 very funy when i watching this i amnt boring 5 stars
5/17/05 Shawn Borucki Excellent film, Stephen Chow tops "Shaolin Soccer" with mixing gangs and land ladies.. 5 stars
5/10/05 Morrigan Matrix Ripoffs? You sir are an idiot. 5 stars
5/09/05 Ka-Poon Chan Its a very good film, a different outlook from this genre of film making! 4 stars
5/05/05 Koitus Was the urination scene REALLY necessary??? Also, MANY scenes were "Matrix" rip-offs... 2 stars
5/03/05 michaelb14 "I did'nt know The Lion's Roar could be done with a speaker!" 5 stars
5/02/05 your worst goddamn nightmare Take a bit of Loony Toons and Jackie Chan and you've got this. Sounds terrible, BUT........ 5 stars
5/02/05 Dorothy Malm quite entertaining, a lot of fun 5 stars
4/30/05 Chris Stephens This is one cool movie 5 stars
4/29/05 Titus Way cool. 5 stars
4/28/05 Uncle Salty See it. Love it. 5 stars
4/28/05 Colleen Godlrick unique 5 stars
4/27/05 Jeff Anderson A high energy, hysterical & full-throttle BLAST! More fun than all 3 MATRIX films combined! 5 stars
4/27/05 Naka God, YES!!! 5 stars
4/26/05 Whatevr Oh, dizzamn! 5 stars
4/25/05 KingNeutron Fkg awesome, wacky, goofy, sometimes disturbing, and oddly... moving. See twice! 5 stars
4/24/05 jeff not as good as house of flying daggers but still funny and awsome 5 stars
4/23/05 jakob it rocked hard. 5 stars
4/20/05 jordan can you give kung fu hustle movie 0n dvd 2004 2 stars
4/19/05 Al Guy I love it! Watch out for the Hollywood "remake". 5 stars
4/14/05 Gray this movie was great fun! 5 stars
4/13/05 Junior LaRoche Great! Sony Classics know how to release films, unlike Miramax. 5 stars
4/13/05 visual A must-see!!!! 5 stars
4/12/05 Mr. Majestyk If you can't enjoy this movie, you need a blowjob. 5 stars
4/11/05 Dan Olson Good, but not Chow's best and not worth the acclaim 4 stars
4/10/05 Vince Not overly hilarious, but fun. 4 stars
4/09/05 mahn erfa 5 stars
4/08/05 Lina Correa everyone should borrow this from their friend with the large DVD collection 4 stars
4/02/05 kran must watch 5 stars
3/26/05 Greg Ursic Outstanding!! Never have I seen that many reviewers mock fighting in a lobby. 5 stars
3/09/05 vu Awesome 5 stars
3/03/05 michael weber gwaaaaaaaaaa!!!! 3 stars
2/25/05 jandro Great and Side-Splitting funny, Chow sure knows how to tickle the funny bone 5 stars
2/12/05 anthony hilarious and energetic fun! but the script couldve used more work 4 stars
2/08/05 KEVIN TRINH A MUST SEE MOVIE 5 stars
2/07/05 Zach a must-watch! 5 stars
1/30/05 Ery amazingly beautiful and funny 5 stars
1/29/05 buddy garrett same old formula 2 stars
1/29/05 keith james CHOW (GETS) DOWN! 4 stars
1/13/05 Maya gut-busting funny, way cool fight scenes, and unpredictable. i'm now a huge fan. 5 stars
1/12/05 Josh Funniest film i've seen for ages - very stylish too 5 stars
1/11/05 Miles Bader Hits every note just right, silly and affectionate 5 stars
1/09/05 Francis Ayock Stephen Chow homage to the Cantonese Martial Arts films of the last few decades. 5 stars
1/01/05 Dominique Incredibly hilarious - far better than Shaolin Soccer! 5 stars
1/01/05 alicia yeo shi ling absolutely funny! 4 stars
12/24/04 ArQ Chow did it again! 5 stars
9/21/04 Naka Hysterical!!! 5 stars
9/16/04 Pop very good film 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  08-Apr-2005 (R)
  DVD: 09-Aug-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  11-Aug-2005




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