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Kung Fu Hustle 

Stephen Chow

Kung Fu Hustle
Directed by: Stephen Chow
Stephen Chow is one of the biggest movie stars in Asia. Kung Fu Hustle is his second film to attract attention in the west, after Shaolin Soccer, and he is credited as writer, director and lead. Here he is Sing, a street thug in a1930s metropolis beset by the diabolical Axe Gang. The gang makes life difficult for the residents of Pig Sty, a quaint inner city enclave with more than its fair share of kung fu masters. Connoisseurs of martial arts films will enjoy Chow’s stylish, if goofy, homage, but he also knows Hollywood. Check out the nods to The Shining, Astaire and Rogers’ Top Hat, even Looney Tunes cartoons. Kung Fu Hustle is graceful, gorgeous-looking but very silly, crammed with CGI to give the fight sequences and slapstick an extra kick. If Chow is given the chance to direct a Hollywood superhero picture, he’ll make all of them to date, save maybe The Matrix, look as if they were shot underwater.
—Carsten Knox

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Vol 26, No 34
January 17, 2019

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