Sunday, July 10, 2011

365 Movies Day #103 "Kung Fu Hustle"

In keeping with the trend of modern Asian cinema with our last two pictures, this film is a personal favorite. Not many films can combine some seriously amazing fight sequences with laugh out loud comedy. "Kung Fu Hustle" pulls it off and then some.

Writer, director and star Stephen Chow is wonderful all around. Working in film since 1981 and with 8 directorial credits under his belt, this is definitely his masterpiece. Many really like his previous film "Shaolin Soccer", but after watching "Kung Fu Hustle" I expected more from "Soccer". It's good, but it's no "Hustle".

Basically, the film takes place in the 40s in a city ruled by the infamous Axe Gang. The Gang and it's leader, Brother Sum, played by Kwok-Kwan Chan, is both ruthless and hilarious in their criminal hijinks. When things get out of hand, it's time for the locals to stand up for themselves with a militia consisting of a tailor, a cook, a lecherous landlord and his chain-smoking nagging wife and a coolie. The coolie is played by Yu Xing, who also played Master Zealot Lin in yesterday's "IP MAN". The tailor is played by Chi Ling Chiu of Ari Gold's off the wall comedy "Adventures of Power" (more on that and the power of air drumming later). Of course, the hero of our story is a bumbling wannabe gangster named Sing (played by Chow), who's antics with his best friend drive most of the greatest comedy in the film.

Again, while funny, it also features some amazing action sequences. The harpists especially thrilled me. It's mystical. It's over the top. It's great. I think we may stay on modern Asian Cinema until film #110. I have a few more to talk about and we may just go in groups of ten from here until 200.


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