Kung Fu Hustle

After seeing the wonderful trailer, how could I not want to see this film? Gang wars, dance routines, CGI-enhanced Matrix-style kung fu, and a hefty dose of physical comedy. The question was really: could the film really pull all of this off?

The answer: yes. And then some. It starts off as a pretty brutal gangland flick, with the leaders of one gang being brutally taken down by the aptly named rivals, the Axe Gang. Then it moves to the slums of Pig Sty Lane, where people go about their business, constantly watched and kept in line by the obnoxious Landlady. Two drifters try to hustle a free haircut by pretending to be members of the Axe Gang. The residents refuse to be intimidated, and proceed to deliver a thorough kicking. Unfortunately, a real Axe member gets in the way of the altercation, and has his ass handed to him. So begins a vendetta between the slum dwellers and the criminals, which will ultimately be decided by the strength, speed, and skill of the champions that emerge from their midst.

To put it in a more Western perspective, it’s a kung fu superhero movie. The heroes reveals themselves slowly, reluctant to discard their secret identities, but ultimately ready to stand up for what is right. The visuals are amazing. Never mind the sometimes imperfect CGI–the freshness and imagination with which the effects are deployed more than makes up for any lack of quality. The fight scenes blend extreme moves with mystical abilities (superpowers) and comedy in a way you never see in Western films, which take themselves so much more seriously. The story and plot are all over the map, but in the end it’s hard to care. The sheer energy, fun, and excitement that Kung Fu Hustle delivers can hardly be bettered.