January 03, 2005

Kung Fu Hustle

The GF's cousin works at the NTU Executive MBA program, which means they get all sorts of nice perks from the home office. She was able to get tickets to the sneak preview of Kung Fu Hustle at the Warner Village the night before it officially opened. Stephen Chow must've really impressed some people in Hollywood with Shaolin Soccer, since Kung Fu Hustle is bankrolled by Sony-Columbia, and is due for a US release.

Stephen Chow is a big fan of Bruce Lee and the WuXia genre in general, so the film was very much a pastiche of clichés in homage to the genre, with zany humor to hold it together and make it fun. More importantly, the movie works on multiple levels. There's the physical comedy and the chop-socky for the ignorant (Americans), and then there are the inside jokes and obscure references for the hard-core fans of the genre. I guess I fall somewhere in the middle of spectrum. I know the language so I realize the English translation sucks all the life out of the dialogue, and I've read enough of the genre to recognize the stylization, even if I don't know the exact references to the original material. Anyway, it's all in good fun, and I had a good time, even if it meant I was up well past midnight on a work night.

Posted by mikewang on 09:18 PM