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Reviews & Ratings for
Kung Fu Hustle More at IMDbPro »Kung fu (original title)

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Index 348 reviews in total 

312 out of 363 people found the following review useful:

Freaking fantastic.

10/10
Author: jive-3 from toronto
15 September 2004

Goodness me, what a fantastic movie. Caught the world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and the entire theater laughed until they cried. Amazingly directed, HILARIOUSLY funny, it blends a 1930s gangster stylishness into a Hong Kong kung fu movie to astonishing results. Who would've thought you could top Shaolin Soccer? Not me, until I saw this movie. Stephen Chow pulled it off. Chow's comedic timing gets better and better with every movie he makes, and while his films are depending more and more on CGI these days, and makes this movie much more a fantasy kung fu film than a traditional one, it hardly detracts from the enjoyable experience. Make it your mission to see this film - it will be one of the most entertaining you ever see. I can't remember the last film I enjoyed myself in more. My eyes still hurt from wiping away tears of laughter. Seriously.

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229 out of 261 people found the following review useful:

Stephen Chow is truly a great director...

Author: peter_K_2001 from Toronto, Canada
16 September 2004

Chaplin, Allen and now actor, writer, producer and director Stephen Chow can join the select few whose remarkable talent as a performer matches his ability behind the lens; Kung Fu Hustle proves it.

Chow is no stranger to direction. In 1994 Chow co-directed Love on Delivery and since then a number of other self starring projects and many of these projects are considered the best of his acting career. However his skills as a comedian - be it his brash physical comedy (Shaolin Soccer), his manical scenarios (Tricky Brains) or epic historical parodies (A Chinese Oddsey) - have never outshined his talents as a director. Kung Fu Hustle not only reminds us of Chow's terrific comedic timing, it introduces us to his stunning visual eye and exhilarating action direction.

More importantly this addition to Chow's superb filmography finally allows us a means of defining his technique. A master of blending both comedy and visceral action with artistic integrity and traditional melodrama. It has been awhile since a director has been able to take me from quite serious and intense graphic violence to over the top ridiculous spoofing. The contrast of atmosphere and mood throughout the film is incredible and even more incredible is Chow's ability to make it all work. When the scene is funny you appreciate the comedy, when it switches gears to action you are blown away by the terrific sequences, when it switches to melodrama you are on the edge of your seat awaiting character responses, and when they're all fused together you do exactly what Chow is hoping you'll do. You laugh.

So I liked the film, but what is the film exactly. Like most Stephen Chow films while the concept is simple to describe, the execution is far more complex. Kung Fu Hustle tells the story of Sing, a wannabe gangster attempting to join the famous Axe Gang (who during some of the early scenes seem to spoof Gangs of New York - look for a firework visual quote), a legion of black suits responsible for a series of gruesome murders and complete dominance over a 1940s Hong Kong. Sing's reasons for wanting to join the gang are simple: bad guys are cooler. His arrogance causes a war to break out between a poor housing complex that secretly holds a number hidden talents and the murderous axe gang. What starts as a relatively small skirmish (and I mean relatively) explodes into a war of Miike's "Dead or Alive" proportions.

The use of digital effects in this film are extreme. Chow having succumbed to the digital revolutions in Shaolin Soccer, manages once again to use his effects wisely. There are a terrific number of effects shots in this film far more then I've ever seen in a Hong Kong production (save maybe the terrible Wesley's Mysterious File) and while I am disappointed at the lack of practical effects the impressive quality of them more then makes up for it. This film simply does not look like a Hong Kong film. It rivals Hollywood features in every category (set, costumes cinematography), but amazingly enough the CGI is really good! You can notice most of the effects, but that doesn't matter because they are used for laughs and effectively so. Some of the effects not only will have you in stitches, but also in shock and awe at the sheer incredibility of some of the scenes. One scene that sticks out is a terrific spoof of the Road Runner. Its not hilarious, but also a visual feast.

The impressive action is thanks largely to the great choreography talent including both Sammo Hung and Yuen Wo Ping (each working on the film at spate occasions). Yuen Wo Ping manages to take a scene that appears to be rehash of the Burly Brawl (hundreds of suits against one guy) and manages to make it not only fresh, but a thousand times more exciting and intense. These fight sequences demand the attention of any cinephile who claims themselves a fan of marital art cinema. Wachowski's take not, this is how you direct Yuen Wo Ping to this artistic peak.

So everything seems great, right? This has to be Chow's best, right? Actually not everything works and is not at all Chow's best film. It is not his funniest film, but that is because it takes the risk of exploring the action genre. It also relies a bit too much on CGI, and while its use is effective, it can occasionally bring you out of the film. Compared to his other films this film ranks #1 for its visuals and action, but in terms of laughs and writing it cannot surpass the classics. That being said Kung Fu Hustle is absolute blast. See it if you can at the Toronto Film Festival, import it on DVD and catch in theaters when Sony Classics brings it here (in Febuary I believe). It is action comedy at its finest.

Three cheers for Chow Sing Chi!

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187 out of 223 people found the following review useful:

So much fun !!

Author: Stephen O'Connell from Toronto
16 September 2004

I saw this movie at the Toronto filmfest and I have to say I loved it, I really didn't know what to expect as I didn't know the director and had only really seen some pretty bad kung fu many years before. There are many pop culture references in there like reservoir dogs and the matrix.. all done very tongue in cheek.

The fight sequences are very well done and keep the movie moving at a frenetic pace, the jokes tend to be visual in nature and as such side step the normal translation problems.

All in all I thought this was a great movie and suspect this will be a huge hit !

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190 out of 232 people found the following review useful:

Stephen puts his work into another level!!!

10/10
Author: JuliaChao from Taiwan
26 December 2004

In general, it's a movie which puts tribute to all the Kung Fu Movie.

Some argue that Stephen uses a lots of old jokes and routines in this movie that makes it a little bit weak on the script. However, I think it's one of his best. He doesn't make as many dirty jokes as usual, but you can really learn his philosophy through this two-hours movie and have a very good laugh at the same time. If you really watch the movie carefully, you will know what kung-fu is. Stephen Chow truly understands kung-fu, in my opinion, and it a sure thing that he crazies about it.

It's not a common kung-fu movie like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" or "Hero". Stephen Chow uses his own way to express kung-fu. I sincerely recommend this movie to those who still has the slightest hesitation whether you should watch this movie or not.Just Go!!!!!!!!!! You won't regret it!!!!

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125 out of 138 people found the following review useful:

Visually Stunning & Just Plain Funny!

9/10
Author: BraveHawk from United States
24 April 2005

Kung Fu Hustle was one of the most visually imaginative and unique movies I have seen in quite some time. Upon first viewing the trailer, I thought we would have another Kung Pow: Enter The Fist on our hands but, boy, was I wrong. Unlike Kung Pow, the jokes did not grow tired on me and the special effects were definitely top notch. The scene with the two assassins playing that stringed instrument (don't know the name of it) in such a way that it kills was incredible.

Although there was not much to the story, it was not non-existent, either. There was a simple story happening which made sense for what we were watching. Even the jokes with the subtitles came across as funny, and from my experience, humor does not translate as easily as this movie would have you believe. It borrowed or spoofed a bit from Spider-Man and The Matrix as well, which was a bit unexpected for this film, initially. At least for me.

To be honest, I could enjoy this movie without sound or subtitles, too. It was that appealing to the eye. It would be a good background movie for a party or poker game which could catch your eye at any moment and still hold your attention. It could also be great if you feel like a good comedy. I was entertained throughout and even though I was dead tired when I saw it in the theater, it held my interest all the way to the end. 9/10

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127 out of 154 people found the following review useful:

The best comedy for this year. No super-hero.

9/10
Author: lei su (lane-su) from Singapore
27 December 2004

Before we went to see this movie we had heard about many good reviews of it. After spending approximate 100mins in the movie theater we were extremely satisfied and entertained. This movie is even better than we have expected. There were full of laughters almost from the beginning to the end in the theater.

Stephen Chow displays his talent as both a director and an actor. It maintains the previous Chow's style and humor as in other movies, such as "Xi Ju Zhi Wang" and "Xing Yun Yi Tiao Long", while those CGIs were not expected. In Chow's movie, what the Chinese people like is that it says no to super heroes. It just tells the stories of ordinary people, particularly those people leading insignificant and unsuccessful lives.

Several characters in this movie were played by popular Kung-Fu stars, in the 1980's - 1990's in China. Stephen Chow shows respects to them, as the way he respects Bruce Lee.

Above all, Kung-Fu Hustle is a movie with great hilarity, stunning CGI effects, fantastic Kung-Fu, and the lives of ordinary people. I give it 9 out of 10. Highly recommended!

Now this movie is in theaters in Europe and North America. The recent comments have shown a good sign already.Best wishes to Stephen Chow! Hope western people like this movie as well.

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104 out of 112 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic

9/10
Author: baboos from South Africa
18 October 2005

This is one of the most richly imaginative, creative, downright enjoyable movies I've ever seen. I haven't enjoyed myself this much since Pulp Fiction.

It took me a while to figure out who the hero was. First I thought it was the barber guy who got himself constantly smacked about by the landlady. I suppose it's because he looked so dim, he therefore had to be a kung fu master in disguise. I've read some of the other posts, and everyone seems to think the knife scene was the funniest. I didn't expect to come to this movie for a laugh, but the knife scene almost killed me. Luckily it was just me and my friend in the movie theatre, so I could let it all out.

If you go to the movies to free your imagination, then this is the movie for you. Stay away from people who say it's far-fetched and unrealistic. If they want realism, they should go to the laundromat.

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118 out of 149 people found the following review useful:

Potential Cult Film

9/10
Author: kam-wing pang (kamwingpang@hotmail.com) from Hong Kong
5 January 2005

I liked Shaolin Soccer, it was full of laughs and Stephen Chow has done it again with Kung Fu Hustle. It's not in the same vein as Shaolin Soccer and it is not a belly full of laughs, but it certainly emphasised his love of action movies especially Martial Art movies. The film pays homage to all those Hong Kong Martial Arts Serials, Bruce Lee and the action genre in general. I would even say that Kung Fu Hustle is a more refined Shoalin Soccer in terms of storyline, action sequences and acting.

The setting is great with some nice scenes of old Hong Kong and the way people used to live. The fight scenes were pretty good, especially at the start with the three masters fighting the Axe Gang. Okay, the story was predictable but that didn't take away the enjoyment one bit.

Overall, it is a highly recommended movie to watch and I can't wait for his next film.

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115 out of 146 people found the following review useful:

This movie will blow you away!

10/10
Author: Musashi Zatoichi (info@dvdstockholm.com) from Stockholm
3 February 2005

In the wildly imaginative and action-packed Kung Fu Hustle, petty thief Sing (Stephen Chow) aspires to be a ruthless gangster. Stumbling across a gang-controlled apartment to extort money from the locals who are actually kung fu masters in disguise. Sing's actions attracts the notorious Axe Gang, and set off a relentless chain of events that brings the clans together in an explosive battle.

From kung fu showdowns to dance sequences featuring tuxedoed mobsters, you've never seen martial arts action this outrageous! With jaw-dropping fight sequences by Yeun Wo Ping (famed action choreographer of Kill Bill Vol.1 & 2 and The Matrix) Kung Fu Hustle will blow you away! Chow's movie is set in 1940s Guangdong Province, China. Chow plays Ah-xing, a street rascal who fools around constantly. He is good at talking glibly, but at the core he is feeble-minded and stuck in poverty with an unknown future. So, it doesn't look good for A-xing at the beginning of the movie.

It doesn't get any better, either a little later as we discover it is A-xing's goal is to become a member of the notorious Axe Gang, the fiercest, cruelest and most widespread gang of the city.

One day when A-xing goes into a slum, Pig Cage Town, to do his usual extortion, he witnesses a real clash between two gangs: the Axe Gang is clearing out a local gang that has not shown allegiance to the Axe. A-xing realizes the slum residents -- including the plump landlady and her skinny and wimpy-looking husband -- have each turned into kung-fu masters to fight against the large group of gangs.

A-xing then realizes this is a battle between good and evil and that he is called to choose one side.

Stephen Chow continues his unique comedy style, twisting the slapstick jokes and reinterpreting them with his composed face. In Kung Fu Hustle, Chow intensifies the self-torture sequences and creates more funny points in his suffering. For example, when Chow shows his characters practising kung-fu while faced by a middle-aged woman in the slum, he is quickly kicked in the groin. He is also stabbed by three flying daggers which were supposedly aimed at his enemy and is later bitten in the face by two poisonous snakes. Through all these trials he manages to survive for another day.

Apart from creativity, Kung Fu Hustle has also demonstrated a higher quality comedy than his early 1990s works such as Fight Back to School (1991) and King of Beggars (1992). The cinematography is more sophisticated, with an authentic 1930s aura. And like Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle heavily adopts computer graphics to present special effects such as the snake, daggers and flying axes.

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119 out of 154 people found the following review useful:

Great movie by Stephen Chow

10/10
Author: (cindia) from Hong Kong
24 December 2004

I saw this movie yesterday and it is definitely one of the best movies that was made in the history of Hong Kong. The plot itself is simple, and the storyline is all about kung fu. Yet, it is not just a funny comedy about kung fu. It is more than that. Somehow it is similar to Harry Potter (in this case is wizard) or animations by Hayao Miyazaki in which a world of imagination is created. The characters in the film are so funny and classic. Most of them appeared in some of Stephen Chow's movies before but because the context of every movie is different, the overall result is hilarious. This is a movie that make Hong Kong people proud. I hope it will be a box office success in other countries too. I think I'll definitely buy the movie DVD for my personal collection.

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