Kung Fu Hustle, directed and starred by Stephen Chow, focuses in on a small town of Pig Sty Alley.
While the rest of the country is falling victim to gang violence and control, this small corner of the world is able to live in (somewhat) peace. The villager's biggest worry is making rent to the crass and cartoon-ish Landlady, who makes it her daily routine to scare tenants and get into physical altercations with her drunk, perverted husband. She walks around with curlers in her hair that never lose place, a cigarette that is always sitting on her bottom lip, and house slippers that double as a weapon if needed. By the time of her introduction in the film, we have already seen outrageous action scenes and a bad-guy choreographed dance.
Flash forward to our main character, Sing, and his dopey, jiggly sidekick, Bone. Sing is a cowardly wannabe, who pushes around his only allies. Sing and Bone show up to Pig Sty Alley impersonating Axe Gang members (the dancing, suit-wearing, ax-wielding, gang members, ran by their incompetent, weasel-y leader, Brother Sum.) As things fall down a slippery slope, we get one of the best action sequences of the entire film. Director Chow creates this beautiful, hilarious vision of three, retired, legendary kung-fu masters defending their village from the tyranny of the Axe Gang. Donut, Coolie, and Tailor (Pig Sty's very own Justice League) kick the asses of the Axe members, with shower rings, bamboo rollers, and unrealistic forces of kung-fu and gravity.
The film then follows a sah childhood story, silly dialogue, and a revenge plot of the Axe gang members getting back at the citizens of Pig Sty. In the end, the final showdown between Beast and Sing is full of moments that will have you laughing and cheering for the good guys. Kung Fu Hustle is a film that defies all laws of reality, so if you're an unbearable realist, this film is not for you.
But if you love defying gravity, stylized action and violence, assassin harpists, kung-fu wind-power forces, and hilariously named martial arts moves, then I have found the film for you. It is not spectacular, but it contains visionary action, a touching love story, and it's a movie that can easily put you in a good mood every time you watch it.
Jacindable Rating: ★★★½
starring, Stephen Chow, Yuen Qiu, Leung Siu-lung, Yuen Wah, Huang Shengyi, Danny Chan Kwok-kwan, Lam Chi-chung, Chi Ling Chiu, Dong Zhi Hua, and Yu Xing
writtent and directed by, Stephen Chow, Kan-Cheung Tsang, Xin Huo, and Chan Man Keung