Kung Fu Hustle is a 2004 Hong Kong-Chinese Kung fu action comedy film, directed, co-produced and co-written by Stephen Chow, who also stars in the lead role. The other producers were Chui Po-chu and Jeffrey Lau, and the screenplay was co-written with Huo Xin, Chan Man-keung, and Tsang Kan-cheung. Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Danny Chan Kwok-kwan, and Bruce Leung Siu-lung co-starred in prominent roles.
After the commercial success of Shaolin Soccer, its production company, Star Overseas, began to develop Kung Fu Hustle with Columbia Pictures Asia in 2002. The film features a number of retired actors famous for 1970s Hong Kong action cinema, yet has been compared to contemporary and influential martial arts films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero. The cartoon style of the film, accompanied by traditional Chinese music, is often cited as its most striking feature.
The film was released on 23 December 2004 in China and on 25 January 2005 in the United States. It received a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 78 out of 100 at Metacritic. The film grossed US$17 million in North America and US$84 million in other regions. Kung Fu Hustle was the highest-grossing film in the history of Hong Kong until it was surpassed by You Are the Apple of My Eye in 2011.
The film was the all-time tenth highest-grossing foreign language film in the United States as well as the highest-grossing foreign language film in the country in 2005. Kung Fu Hustle won numerous awards, including six Hong Kong Film Awards and five Golden Horse Awards. The film was re-released in 3D in October 2014 across Asia and America, marking the tenth anniversary of the film.
It’s taken me a number of years to finally get around to see this movie, I picked up a DVD copy of it at Kmart’s recent store closing sale because it was a movie I kept hearing great things about and many had considered it one of the best movies of the 2000s decade.
So, I finally got around to checking it out and my overall reaction is…sweet mother of god, this movie is one of the funniest good times I’ve had in a long, long time.
I love slapstick and over the top comedy a la Looney Tunes and Naked Gun style and this movie is definitely all of this and thensome.
Stephen Chow has such a great directing style that he brings to this as he did with Shaolin Soccer and it’s a shame that his name isn’t brought out more because this guy is a talented filmmaker.
The action, the comedy, and the visual style of the movie is all spectacularly handled in Kung Fu Hustle and it’s another one of those movies where I really want to see a sequel to, I want to see how zany and how manic this universe can get in future films.
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