Kung Fu Hustle

A young man, Sing (played by director Stephen Chow), aspires to join a 1940's Chinese axe-mafia group.  The mafia runs into some resistance in an apartment complex that still fosters the spirit of Kung fu.  Desperate to punish them, the mafia releases The Beast, who also is a master of Kung fu.  At the last minute a new Kung fu master surfaces as a result of being pounded to a pulp and is destined to face The Beast.

Entertainment Value
This was a bizarre movie (probably even more so since I watched it in Spanish).  Hilarious most of the time, yet a little disturbing.  The fighting sequences were very well done; it was really like watching a real life Looney Tunes Kung Fu movie.

Moral Value - Failure to Communicate?
I've been struggling with the phrase "glamorized violence" and what exactly it means.  From what I gather, it means that it makes violence look pleasurable or rewarding.  Maybe something like The Matrix where the fighting is really cool.  Is that bad?  The fighting in this movie was so completely unrealistic and exaggerated that it was genuinely funny.  I'm not sure you could call that bad or good, at least it doesn't make me want to go around and try to punch people through walls or chop off their legs.

[Spoiler Alert] Sing's story is admirable.  He's unsure of what he wants to do with his life.  He's attracted to the power and fame of the axe-mafia, but he also has a desire to do good and protect the weak.  He's literally pounded to his senses and is able to become the ultimate good and defeat the Beast, bringing peace to the tenants and repairing an old friendship.  So even though the movie was an action/comedy (a genre that generally doesn't have any sort of moral or immoral message), I thought the aforementioned messages were well created.  I could really understand the confusion that Sing felt and his desire to fit in somewhere; I was able to internalize the conflicts that were portrayed.

Just because it had some good messages, I don't think I could recommend this to anyone; unless you're interested in seeing the stylized Kung fu action sequences and can stomach a bit of blood, even in the TV-version (at least on Spanish broadcast TV).


  1. Hmm I have never heard of this, but it is a nice review.

  2. A good movie we watched last weekend was Duplicity. It has action adventure plus a love story, and it keeps you guessing up until the very end. Perfect for Vance and me--you might like it too!