starring Stephen Chow, Wah Yuen, Qiu Yuen, and Zhi Hua Dong as Donut
written and directed by Stephen Chow
this summer ive been treated to some excellent films.
one of them i cant talk about because it hasnt come out yet, but the other one, kung fu hustle, is now available on dvd and it deserves the busblog’s highest rating.
in the same way that i wonder how much more the red state mentality can wash over america, i wonder how far movies can be stretched in its imagination, in its quickness, and in its seamlessness.
stephen chow is a creative little bastard and his vision is realized in kung fu hustle in the same way all the geniuses at Looney Tunes imagined it and saw it realized on the screen.
the thing about chow, though, is he does it with real people proving that animation is kid stuff.
its funny, dangerous, thrilling, awe-inspiring, beautiful, touching, and full of crouching tiger meets matrix fighting.
at times it feels like a musical, at times it feels like a great cartoon, and at times it feels like a video game where every boss has to fight with each other.
for a while jackie chan was the ultimate in chinese kung fu, but in this film stephen takes that chan blend of comedy and violence to a higher level, a much higher level. the most unlikely characters will kick your ass in ways that ive never seen on screen.
there are bad guys who can do things to you that seem defenseless but just like in a video game theres a way to beat them, the only question is, can you do it before its too late.
at the root of most great films is a sense of spirituality and redemption, of goodness and honor. theres none of that in this film. until the right moment. its at that time that you realize that chow is a genius, and his filmmaking was simply the vehicle to get us all there.
the only other movie ive seen of his was shaolin soccer and although it was funny at parts, it was overthetop and i turned it off after a little while. in this film he took what he was learning and he molded it and then went wayyy over the top but it works here because it wasnt exaggeration for exaggeration sake, it was exaggeration because he had mastered his craft.
i cannot think of a negative thing to say about this film or a flaw in its design.
we are taken to another world, we are introduced to a variety of interesting and unique characters and we like them all, even the most cruel, and we are treated to some of the best duels and most ridiculous slapstick and it all makes sense.
im not so sure that chow would have been able to make this movie if films like the matrix, crouching tiger, star wars, or drunken master II hadnt preceeded it. but what he does so interestingly is take all the special effects from those films and use them for his own means as if they were new colors to his pallete.
and i love that the bad guys use the hand axe, my favorite of all weapons.
four million stars.