Sing (Chow) has wanted to join a gang for as long as he can remember and
the Axe Gang as the biggest and most feared. While trying to hustle the inhabitants
of Pig Sty Alley by making out that he is already a member of the gang he
inadvertently brings the real Axe Gang into the sleepy alley and trouble starts.
It is the inhabitants of Pig Sty that come out the victors however and this
makes Axe leader Brother Sum (Chan) extremely mad and cannot let this lie.
Martial Arts movies have always been spectacles of skill, populated
by heroes and villains that are all masters of their art. Stephen Chow's films
are slightly different.
Influenced by western cinema and the 'Looney Tunes' and 'Tex
Avery' animation style, Stephen Chow brings something new to the martial arts
genre that is completely fresh. Combining comedy and Kung Fu is nothing new
(Jackie Chan has made a career of it) but Chow skilfully combines laugh-out-loud
humour with brilliantly choreographed, over-the-top fight sequences to produce
an almost live action cartoon.
Exaggerated, comic book type characters or masters as they are
known in the movie, take centre stage. With names like 'The Beast' and 'Lion's
Breath', the characters that inhabit Chow's 1940s China have fantastic martial
arts skills and supernatural powers that make them unbelievable opponents.
This makes for some amazing fight sequences that put movies with far greater
budgets to shame. The final confrontation makes 'The Matrix' look tame by
The film skilfully combines the genius of fight choreographers
Woo-ping Yuen and Sammo Hung with some brilliant makeup and CG visual effects
to create characters and fights that are simply jaw dropping. Wire-Fu might
be overly used since the success of films like 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon',
'The Matrix' and 'Hero' but the technique is needed to bring these over-the-top
characters to life. Without it you could never have 'toad' style and that
simply wouldn't do.
Stephen Chow is multi-talented filmmaker and a shining light
in both Hong Kong and world cinema. Writer, director and star, the man has
a real gift for filmmaking. As an actor he is a talent martial artist and
comedian, mixing punches, kicks and jokes with consummate skill. As a director
he has a real eye for the extreme, utilising all the things that make martial
arts movies great and then throwing in some comedy for good measure. It is
this mix that made his last movie 'Shaolin Soccer' so much fun. He repeats
the feat here, successfully blending comedy moments, special effects and kung
fu with the skill of a cinematic chef.
The only thing that lets the movie down is the story. The whole
premise behind the film is very slight and nothing much really happens in
between the action sequences that will really get you thinking. It is really
just an excuse for 'Masters' to fight each other and nothing more.
The thin plot aside there is still a lot to enjoy in 'Kung Fu
Hustle'. With action sequences that stand up to anything moneybags Hollywood
can offer, this is a movie that is fun throughout, capturing the true essence
of popcorn cinema, entertainment.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the movie
is presented well. There is also an English dub of the film for those viewers
who don't like subtitles.
Commentary with Stephen Chow (Sing), Lam Tze Chung (Bone), Tin Kai Man
(Axe Gang Advisor) and Chan Kwok Kwun (Brother Sum)
This very fun and chatty commentary comes from the director and his stars,
revealing that the group have a real passion for the film. They talk about
the influences behind the film and the many cameos from Asian stars in the
film. They also discuss the characters and the comedy some of them inject
into the film. This is a good commentary (with subtitles) and a good listen
for Stephen Chow fans.
TV Special - Behind the Scenes of Kung Fu Hustle (41.58 mins)
Director Stephen Chow, producer Jeff Lau, action choreographer Yuen Wo Ping,
production designer Oliver Wong, costume designer Shirley Chan, director
of photography Poon Hang Sang and stars Yuen Chau, Yuen Wah, Leung Siu Lung
and Huang Sheng Yi take you behind the scenes of 'Kung Fu Hustle'. Introduced
by Chan Kwok Kwun (Brother Sum) and Lam Tze Chung (Bone) the featurette
looks at the story, the characters, the martial arts choreography, the music,
the production design, cinematography and visual effects.
Deleted Scenes (4.09 mins)
Entitled 'Pig Sty Community meeting' and 'Meeting Brother Sum', these deleted
scenes don't have introductions or commentary to inform you why they were
Rick Meyers interview with Stephen Chow (27.57 mins)
The writer/producer/director of Kung Fu Hustle, Stephen Chow talks frankly
about his career and reveals how he started in Hong Kong and moved into
movie. He talks frankly about the film and the influences behind it. He
also reveals more about his own career and the directing he sees his career
going. This is an honest interview from the new shining light of Asian cinema.
Outtakes and Bloopers (4.47 mins)
A montage of gaffs and mistakes from the production of the movie
Entitled 'Trailer Countdown', 'Knife Comedy', 'Watch This', 'US Trailer
Countdown', 'Review', 'Art House Review', 'Action', 'Characters', 'Sing',
'Brother Sum', 'Landlady', 'Landlord', 'The Tailor' and 'Counterpoint',
these are the promotional spots that accompanied the film's cinematic release.
International Poster Exploration
View the different version of the international poster for 'Kung Fu Hustle'
Previews of 'Hitch', 'D.E.B.S.' and 'Layer Cake'
When you bear in mind that this is a foreign language release, the DVD
package is filled with extra features. The behind the scenes featurette
is fun and the interview with Stephen Chow is very informative but when
you add in an excellent commentary and you have a DVD that fans will rejoice
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