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TORONTO: First 2 Reviews on Stephen Chow's KUNG FU HUSTLE!!! Wow I Must See Now!

Hey folks, Harry here and right now, I almost feel like kicking myself for not being in Toronto tonight to see KUNG FU HUSTLE's premiere... instead, I'll just have to be happy with having seen SKY CAPTAIN for the third time tonight! Hehehehe... Stephen Chow will unleash upon this nation, it's just a matter of time...

Hey Harry, I just got back from the world premiere of`Stephen Chow's newest "Kung Fu Hustle" here in Toronto.  I had to miss the biggest hockey game left of the year to see it, but boy it was worth it. Wow.  

There were two female stars from the film (no Stephen Chow unfortunatley) Jackie Chan & Sammo Hung's oldest sister who has a pretty large part in the movie (she gained 20 pounds for the role - terrible joke, I know) and a girl who plays the love interest who was pretty hot. I think. I can't say for sure until I find out how old she is. It's tough to judge when you see small chinese girls.  

Fans of Shoalin Soccer are going to eat this up: it kinda seems Shaolin Soccer meets Drunken Master 2, I guess. Now, most of us haven't heard anything regarding the plot yet - and now I can see why. It's pretty difficult to describe.  But here goes -Chow and his buddy (the fat guy from Shaolin Soccer) are thugs trying to get into a gang called "the axe gang". The "Axe Gang" trys to terrorize a small village and fails, then send assasins to help them keep their good(bad) name.  

I know it doesn't sound like anything special, but it does a great job of setting up some spectacular fight scenes. These are heavily (and obviously) CG, so purists beware. But it's excellent eye candy. For some reason I find my eyes much more forgiving than they were with the last Matrix movie I saw.  

As expected Chow's film delivers great comedy. The teasers don't do it justice.There were some truly funny moments.  

That makes two great martial arts movies in two years for me at the festival. Last year it was the now infamous midnight madness screening of "Ong Bak" and now this.  

Almost makes it worth the 8 months of winter.  

Curious G

here's a colder reception, but one that says he prefers it to Shaolin Soccer!


Only from Steven Chow do we get a martial arts / comedy with references to Shaw Brother films from the 70s, Bruce Lee, Ray Harryhausen, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, Matrix Reloaded and Spider-Man. The film is Kung Fu Hustle which had its world premiere at the 29th Toronto International Film Festival. The film opens in Japan on January 15, 2005 and will unspool in other countries thereafter.

The film centers around the exploits of a wannabe tough guy (Chow) who unwittingly gets involved in a conflict between the notorious Axe Gang and residents of the housing project. That's pretty much all the plot detail you need as the film is stuffed with wacky bits of slapstick humour and martial arts loosely choreography by Sammo Hung, Yuen Woo Ping and CG artisans.

I'll be the first to admit that I just do not "get" Steven Chow's brand of comedy. I did watch Shaolin Soccer for what seems like several years ago and found it to be just okay. The good news is that I enjoyed Kung Fu Hustle abit more but not by much. The audience around my friends and I, however, truly and absolutely loved the film. I sat there and perhaps chuckled a few times but found myself thinking about the magnificence that is the HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS which I saw a few days ago.

Despite my cool reception to Kung Fu Hustle, I have no doubt this film will an enormous box-office smash in many parts of Asia. If you love Steven Chow films then Kung Fu Hustle will have you grinning well after the final credits scroll past the screen.

Hin Jang

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