Alphabetical Movie – Kung Fu Hustle
I enjoy Kung-Fu Hustle a lot but I’ve always faced a bit of a dilemma about the film because it wasn’t quite the film that I wanted it to be.
The film itself is a Kung-Fu film set in a world that could best be described as the Warner Brothers cartoon version of a Kung Fu movie. There is even a chase scene that would appear to be straight out of a Road Runner cartoon.
Yet the name of the film and the opening scene made it seem like what was about to be shown was a King Fu musical. Thing about that for a minute. A kung-fu musical. By Stephen Chow. If the concept doesn’t make you salivate, you need to educate yourself on Stephen Chow. Go and watch Shaolin Soccer.
As a fan of musicals, I can say with unwavering certainty that a kung-fu musical by Stephen Chow is begging to be made and it is a tragedy of epic proportions that Kung-fu Hustle is not that film. The tragedy is actually the fact that I thought it was going to be that movie and it wasn’t.
If I’d thought it was going to be a kung-fu Looney Tunes film, I’d have been just as excited by the concept. Maybe more. I may have ended up being unhappy because it wasn’t Looney Tunes enough. Why wasn’t everything in the film inscribed with Chinese equivalent of ACME, for instance?
To be fair, it might have been. How would I know?
I still wait for a kung-fu musical. I’m sure someone out there is going to tell me that such a film already exists and I’m sure they are right but here’s my question – is it any good?
Because if Stephen Chow had made it, it would have been fantastic. It would be a Baz Lurhman film sprinkled with a little Jackie Chan.
Kung-fu Hustle may not have been that movie but that movie needs to exist, doesn’t it? I’m not wrong in this, am I?
Spielberg isn’t doing anything right now, is he? What about Tarantino? Tarantino hasn’t made a musical yet. He’s played in every other genre, a musical is clearly the next world for him to conquer. Someone give him a call and set his sights on this idea.
Or what the hell? Call Stephen Chow and tell him. I’m sure that my entire issue is based on a bad translation of the original Chinese title. If Chow knew that he could be making a kung-fu musical right now, I imagine he’d jump on the chance.
Perhaps we could inspire a glut of competing kung-fu musicals! That concept fills my own geeky heart with joy.
Why am I so excited by this idea, you ask?
Come on! Tell me that the idea of a kung-fu battle in tap shoes doesn’t sound amazing. I dare you to hate that idea!
Except my friend Matt. He hates musicals because there is no joy in his heart.
Someday, perhaps, there will be a kung-fu musical. But it will not be Kung-fu Hustle.
And in spite of the fact I like the film, I have to admit I’m still a little bit bitter about that.