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"KUNG FU HUSTLE"
(2005) (Stephen Chow, Yuen Qiu) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Heavy Extreme *Mild Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Moderate None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Extreme Mild Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy/Action: Unlikely heroes arise out of a small Chinese apartment complex when members of an axe-wielding gang arrive with the notion of taking over the place.
PLOT:
It's 1940s China and the feared Axe Gang has all but taken control of the city of Canton. That is, except in the small and poor apartment complex known as Pig Sty Alley that's run by the Landlord (YUEN WAH) and his mean, chain-smoking wife, Landlady (YUEN QIU), and is of no interest to the gang. Thus, gangster wannabe Sing (STEPHEN CHOW) and his lazy buddy (LAM TZE CHUNG) pick that very place to prove their worth, but they don't expect the resistance that Landlady and the others provide.

Sing's distress flare brings in the Axe Gang - run by their ruthless leader, Brother Sum (CHAN KWOK KWAN) -- who expect they'll easily overrun the place. Like their amateur counterparts, however, they underestimate the will and martial arts mastery of various unlikely heroes in the town -- including Doughnut (DONG ZHI HUA), Tailor (CHIU CHI LING) and Coolie (XING YU) -- who easily best the gang members and send them retreating.

Brother Sum then sends Sing and his sidekick back to Pig Sty Alley to deal with the matter, but when they're unsuccessful, he sends more potent adversaries, including several deadly musicians and the number one killer around, The Beast (LEUNG SIU LUNG) who must be sprung from his high security confinement.

That sets the stage for various wild, funny and deadly battles between the two groups, particularly when more unlikely heroes step up to defend the small apartment complex and its residents from their various assailants.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into martial arts flicks or hear the growing buzz about this film, it's a good bet many will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sequences of strong stylized action and violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • STEPHEN CHOW plays a young hoodlum who wishes to be in the Axe Gang and thus has to fight various people in Pig Sty Alley until he eventually realizes his calling and becomes a hero.
  • YUEN WAH plays the old and lecherous landlord who rules Pig Sty Alley but, like his wife, has a secret identity that comes in handy latter on when battling the Axe gang and their minions.
  • YUEN QIU plays his chronically perturbed and chain-smoking wife, a secret martial arts expert with a powerful weapon in the form of her piercing yells.
  • CHAN KWOK KWAN plays the leader of the Axe gang who wants to dominate everyone, including those living in Pig Sty Alley.
  • LEUNG SIU LUNG plays a feared martial arts master, although his small stature and age certainly don't give one that impression at first.
  • HUANG SHENG YI plays a young mute woman who must deal with Sing and his buddy's actions.
  • LAM TZE CHUNG plays Sing's chubby sidekick who similarly wants to be in the Axe gang but doesn't really have the energy or motivation for it.
  • DONG ZHI HUA, CHIU CHI LING and XING YU play unlikely heroes in the small apartment complex who battle the Axe Gang. One is otherwise portrayed as effeminate.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this action-comedy that's been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 1 subtitled "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Some men's bare butts are partially seen in low-riding pants (played for laughs), a martial arts expert's clothed bust increases as she inhales a lot of air, men stare at a woman's clothed butt, while a man puts his hand on the same on another woman.

    Violence consists of a plethora of mostly martial arts based fighting, battles and other such contact where many characters are killed, wounded or otherwise struck, often with harsh/severe impact. Others are shot to death, impaled, or otherwise cut. Some of that has varying degrees of bloody results (while other blood is also present), but much of it's played for zany and/or exaggerated comedy. Even so, some of the material may nevertheless be unsettling for some viewers, while some kids may be enticed to try to imitate some of the fighting and stunts.

    The various villains all have bad attitudes, various characters drink or smoke (one may smoke opium but it's never identified), some crude humor is present and a woman briefly mentions seeing her son die in the past. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Landlord drinks from a bottle and appears to be drunk.
  • Sum may smoke some opium from a long pipe, but it's never identified.
  • Sum drinks from a flask.
  • Sum's assistant tries to light his boss' cigar, but ends up catching Sum's hair on fire. He then tries to douse that with liquid from a flask, but the alcohol only causes the fire to spread (played for laughs).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Some of the following is played for comedy and/or in an exaggerated fashion.
  • A man's face is somewhat bloody after being beaten.
  • Some Axe Gang members mow down several people with machine guns. Sum then throws an axe that lops off a man's foot (with a little bit of bloody results there and on his face). He then goes over and repeatedly strikes the man with the ax (our view of the impact is blocked). He then acts like he's going to let a woman go, but shoots her in the back with a shotgun, with the blast knocking her across the street (with bloody results).
  • We see black and white photos of many murdered people whose clothing appears to be soaked in blood.
  • An older woman punches Sing quite hard in the gut, causing some blood to be in his mouth.
  • We see foam coming out of an injured man's mouth.
  • Sum has teeth that are black and look rotted.
  • We see a flashback to Sing as a boy, trying to rescue a mute girl from some young thugs who have surrounded her. The boys then repeatedly hit and kick young Sing (we don't see the impact) and then urinate on him (we see the streams hitting him). We later see another view of this, with the boy appearing wet afterwards.
  • Landlord has a large and slightly bloody bruise on his head.
  • Sing's lips are huge in an exaggerated fashion (from where cobras bit him).
  • Two musician assassins (who shoot blades and other martial arts weaponry out from their large, stringed instrument) fire unseen blades toward a martial arts expert. Various things close to him are hit (including a cat, seen in silhouette, being cut in half with some blood splattering onto a wall), followed by the man himself (and his head comes off, seen from a distance).
  • Another martial arts expert battles one of the musicians who uses his long and sharp fingernails to slice the man's torso (we see torn and slightly bloody clothing) and objects near him. The two deliver and block punches and kicks and both crash through a window and the expert then tries to avoid various blades fired in his direction, one of which slices his ear with bloody results.
  • Another expert comes along the scene and blocks the various blades sent his and the other man's way. The two end up blasting the second man backwards (he has blood on his face and hands), with the first then taking the incoming blades to protect the other (but the first is mortally wounded from that, with bloody results on his clothing, and the other dies as well).
  • Landlord then battles the two musicians, and various severe blows are delivered, one of which knocks a tooth from the mouth of one of the assailants (with bloody results).
  • A mortally wounded man's shirt is bloody.
  • Sing sees an enormous flood of blood pouring out from an elevator door (in a scene spoofing a similar one from "The Shining"), but we then see that this was just imagined.
  • The Beast (an old man who's supposedly the number one martial arts expert in the world) tells one of Sum's men to keep hitting him harder, so the man punches him harder and harder in the face (drawing some blood, but the Beast is okay).
  • Landlady has a little blood from her mouth during a battle.
  • The Beast has some bloody cuts on his head.
  • A man says, "I'm gonna puke," but he doesn't.
  • Tired of Sum ordering him around, Sing smacks him on the head with a large board (drawing some blood). The Beast then frees himself from Landlord and Landlady and proceeds to flatten Sing's head into a hole in the floor.
  • The Beast hits a man's head so hard, it spins around several times atop his twisted neck.
  • Sing's face and hand are very bloody, and he tries to write a message in blood for Landlord and Landlady.
  • We see various discarded bloody scraps of material on a table.
  • We see a kid who has streams of snot down from his nose.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Brother Sum and his minions all have bad attitudes, as do the various killers he hires.
  • Sing and his buddy try to prove their worth as gang members by harassing and attacking those in the apartment complex.
  • Landlord spots a young woman, remarks about how she's grown, and jokingly tells her to let him give her a physical exam. He then feels a gay tailor's clothed butt in passing.
  • Landlady is mean and disrespectful to most everyone, telling a guy who's showering that there will be water rationing (to save her money) and repeatedly calling a gay tailor a "fairy."
  • Some viewers might not like the aural joke of hearing blubbery sounds while seeing Sing's buddy's fat quiver in slow motion.
  • Various people call Landlady "fat" but she isn't terribly overweight, if at all.
  • Sing refers to a man with glasses as "four eyes."
  • We see a flashback to Sing as a boy, trying to rescue a mute girl from some young thugs who have surrounded her. The boys then repeatedly hit and kick young Sing (we don't see the impact) and then urinate on him (we see the streams hitting him). We later see another view of this, with the boy appearing wet afterwards.
  • Sing and his buddy steal ice cream cones from a young street vendor. Later, Sing pushes her to the street and holds a knife on her while robbing her.
  • Landlady tells a martial arts master that he might know kung fu, but he's still a fairy (and comments on his red underwear that can partially be seen through his clothing). That causes him to cry and run off like a stereotypically effeminate gay man (played for laughs due to the contrast to his earlier, butt-kicking martial arts prowess, but some may find the portrayal offensive).
  • A man, tired of Sing ridiculing him about his glasses, hits Sing and then repeatedly bashes his head to a bus seat (and then does the same to Sing's buddy).
  • Sing complains of neither he nor his buddy being involved in any crimes such as murder, arson or rape (played for comedy, but some might not like the reference).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material, but some of it's played for zany action-comedy.
  • Sing's buddy accidentally spills a crate of cobras onto Sing and two bite and hold onto his lip.
  • The musicians evoke what look like ghostly, skeletal samurai to go after Landlord and Landlady, but the latter lets out another ear-shattering scream that disintegrates the ghostly figures.
  • The Beast takes a handgun, holds it a foot or so from his head and pulls the trigger (but he's so fast that he catches the bullet between two fingers).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Axes/Machine guns/Knives/Swords/Spears/Other martial arts weapons: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see a tank sitting outside an asylum.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases (in subtitles): "Eat sh*t and die," "Cut the bullsh*t," "Fairy," "You're a numbskull," "Piss off," "Geezer," "My ass," "Nitwit," "Ass-kicking," "Morons," "Four eyes," "Losers," "Bitch," "Tub of lard," "Shut the hell up," "Punks," "Fat ass," "You're a numb nut," "Damn right," "Go to hell" and "I'm gonna puke."
  • All of the fighting, stunts and other action may be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Landlord belches after drinking from a bottle.
  • Sing's buddy has tattoos of axes on his chest.
  • Sing refers to a man with glasses as "four eyes."
  • We see a flashback to Sing as a boy, trying to rescue a mute girl from some young thugs who have surrounded her. The boys then repeatedly hit and kick young Sing (we don't see the impact) and then urinate on him (we see the streams hitting him). We later see another view of this, with the boy appearing wet afterwards.
  • The Beast takes a handgun, holds it a foot or so from his head and pulls the trigger (but he's so fast that he catches the bullet between two fingers).
  • We see the Beast with his finger up his nose.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A hand suddenly pops out of an asylum cell door and grabs Sing's bag.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of dramatic and action-oriented music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 5 "s" words, 11 asses (2 used with "hole"), 3 hells, 2 craps and 2 damns (in English subtitles).
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A man puts his hand on his lady's clothed butt in her tight dress as they walk down the street.
  • We briefly see a woman's panties as she lies dead on the street with her dress riding up after she's been shot and killed.
  • Landlord spots a young woman, remarks about how she's grown, and jokingly tells her to let him give her a physical exam. He then feels a gay tailor's clothed butt in passing.
  • We partially see a man's bare butt as he "showers" in the street (his pants are low and we see the top half of his butt).
  • A sign shows the bare butts of two babies (seen from their sides).
  • A male haircutter's pants ride very low and we see the top of his bare butt.
  • We see Landlady's bra float down to the road after she runs into a billboard (like a cartoon character, but she's still clothed and no nudity is seen).
  • Sing and his buddy stare at a woman's clothed butt in her tight dress as she sashays down the sidewalk.
  • We see part of a man's bare butt.
  • Landlady lets out another ear-shattering scream that knocks the two musicians back against a wall, blasting all but their boxers off their bodies.
  • Landlady's clothed bust increases as she draws in a lot of air to let out one of her signature and destructive screams.
  • We see a guy whose pants are riding low, showing the top of his bare butt.
  • SMOKING
  • Landlady smokes around 10 times, Sum smokes cigars several times, Sing smokes once and various miscellaneous characters smoke (cigarettes, cigars and one pipe in a photo).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see the motion of Landlady hitting Landlord, but don't see any impact. We then see Landlord fly out the window and fall toward the street, bouncing off various things before landing hand. A flower pot then sails down and smacks him on the back of the head.
  • Landlady hits Landlord and the two then slap at each other.
  • Landlady mentions she and her husband seeing their only son die in a fight.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Gangs and gang members.
  • Sing turning from villain to hero.
  • The gay and physical attributes insults that are bandied about.
  • Pre-revolution China.
  • Kung-fun movies.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Some of the following is played for comedy and/or in an exaggerated fashion.
  • We hear the sounds of violence in a police station and then see a person fly through the air and smash against the wall. The man who threw him there then spits on him and then pours boiling water on his face.
  • Some Axe Gang members mow down several people with machine guns. Sum then throws an axe that lops off a man's foot (with a little bit of bloody results there and on his face). He then goes over and repeatedly strikes the man with the ax (our view of the impact is blocked). He then acts like he's going to let a woman go, but shoots her in the back with a shotgun, with the blast knocking her across the street (with bloody results).
  • Landlady smacks a guy on the head for complaining about his shower running out of water.
  • We see the motion of Landlady hitting Landlord, but don't see any impact. We then see Landlord fly out the window and fall toward the street, bouncing off various things before landing hand. A flower pot then sails down and smacks him on the back of the head.
  • A guy stomps down on some kids' soccer ball, crushing it.
  • An older woman punches Sing quite hard in the gut, causing some blood to be in his mouth. Landlady then hits him on the head. He then sets off a distress signal with a flare, but it lands on the head of one of the Axe Gang leaders, burning his hat.
  • An Axe Gang leader goes to hit another guy with an axe, and we hear some sort of contact, but we then see that the leader has been dumped into a barrel from where he states his back is broken.
  • Many Axe Gang members show up in the village, with one grabbing a woman by the head and throwing her down, while others are manhandled, hit and threatened with axes. A guy pours flammable liquid on a woman and her children, with Sum flicking his lighter toward them, but a local man catches it in flight. That man then battles more of the gang members, with many brutal kicks and hits being delivered, with one guy blasted through a window and other struggling occurring. Another local man then joins the fray and beats up many gang members. A third joins in and hits many members and their machine guns with a pole, with the three beating up all of the gang members.
  • Sum hits a guy on the head.
  • Sing and his buddy are strung up by their hands, with a gang member then throwing an axe at Sing. It hits the wall, however, as Sing has picked the locked holding him and dropped to the floor. He then races to free his buddy as others throw axes at him (but miss).
  • We see a flashback to Sing as a boy, trying to rescue a mute girl from some young thugs who have surrounded her. The boys then repeatedly hit and kick young Sing (we don't see the impact) and then urinate on him (we see the streams hitting him). We later see another view of this, with the boy appearing wet afterwards.
  • Landlord smacks another guy.
  • To prove his "bad guy" worth, Sing tries to throw a knife and hits the loathsome Landlady. The knife, however, ricochets and lands in his own shoulder. Sing's buddy then tries to throw his, but it lands in Sing's other shoulder. He then goes to throw a third knife, but the blade comes off in Sing's body (he removes it and then pushes it back in). This is all played for laughs and the blades are seen sticking out of Sing's clothing. Sing's buddy then accidentally spills a crate of cobras onto Sing and two bite and hold onto his lip.
  • Landlady chases after Sing in an exaggerated, road runner fashion, with them barely avoiding a truck on the road and Landlady then smashing into a billboard and sliding down it (like a cartoon character).
  • Sing smashes, punches and dents some large metal after gaining super strength.
  • Three martial arts masters briefly spar with each other (various kicks and punches, etc.).
  • Landlady hits Landlord and the two then slap at each other.
  • Two musician assassins (who shoot blades and other martial arts weaponry out from their large, stringed instrument) fire unseen blades toward a martial arts expert. Various things close to him are hit (including a cat, seen in silhouette, being cut in half with some blood splattering onto a wall), followed by the man himself (and his head comes off, seen from a distance).
  • Another martial arts expert battles one of the musicians who uses his long and sharp fingernails to slice the man's torso (we see torn and slightly bloody clothing) and objects near him. The two deliver and block punches and kicks and both crash through a window and the expert then tries to avoid various blades fired in his direction, one of which slices his ear with bloody results. He avoids more blades and then throws some large concrete structure at the musicians who deflect it, causing it to smash into an adjacent building.
  • Another expert comes along the scene and blocks the various blades sent his and the other man's way. The two end up blasting the second man backwards (he has blood on his face and hands), with the first then taking the incoming blades to protect the other (but the first is mortally wounded from that, with bloody results on his clothing, and the other dies as well).
  • Sum repeatedly hits his assistant who gets in the way of him watching a battle.
  • Sum's assistant throws a blade at Landlady.
  • Landlord then battles the two musicians, with their blows either missing or bouncing off him and causing impact on or between the two musicians. During this, various severe blows are delivered, one of which knocks a tooth from the mouth of one of the assailants (with bloody results).
  • Landlady lets out a piercing scream that deflects the musician's various blades, with Landlord then grabbing the two men and spinning them around before throwing them a long way to the hard ground.
  • The musicians evoke what look like ghostly, skeletal samurai to go after Landlord and Landlady, but the latter lets out another ear-shattering scream that disintegrates the ghostly figures and knocks the two musicians back against a wall, blasting all but their boxers off their bodies.
  • Sum's assistant tries to light his boss' cigar, but ends up catching Sum's hair on fire. He then tries to douse that with liquid from a flask, but the alcohol only causes the fire to spread (played for laughs).
  • Landlady punches a guy who volunteers to be their new martial arts expert and hero.
  • A man, tired of Sing ridiculing him about his glasses, hits Sing and then repeatedly bashes his head to a bus seat (and then does the same to Sing's buddy).
  • Sing pushes a mute ice cream vendor to the street and holds a knife on her while robbing her.
  • Sing hits and kicks his buddy, trying to make him stop following him around.
  • Sing trips and rolls down some concrete steps.
  • The Beast (an old man who's supposedly the number one martial arts expert in the world) tells one of Sum's men to keep hitting him harder, so the man punches him harder and harder in the face (drawing some blood, but the Beast is okay).
  • The Beast takes a handgun, holds it a foot or so from his head and pulls the trigger (but he's so fast that he catches the bullet between two fingers).
  • The Beast nearly cuts a room in half just by the power of one kick from his foot.
  • Landlord and Landlady agree to battle the Beast (the best martial arts expert in the world), with both delivering severe blows and kicks to his head, but he's unfazed. He then kicks the two backwards and the three battle with both parties delivering severe, but comic book style blows to each other. Landlady uses her signature and destructive scream at him, but he withstands the first blast that causes property damage around him. She then turns a huge bell into a megaphone of sorts, with her amplified scream this time blasting the man, others and structures backwards in a massive windstorm.
  • The Beast stabs Landlord and Landlady with small martial arts weapons and the three then end up with their bodies locked together.
  • Tired of Sum ordering him around, Sing smacks him on the head with a large board (drawing some blood). He then hits the Beast on the head with the board. The Beast then frees himself from Landlord and Landlady and proceeds to flatten Sing's head into a hole in the floor.
  • The Beast hits a man's head so hard, it spins around several times atop his twisted neck.
  • A newly powerful Sing battles many Axe Gang members, delivering powerful kicks, punches and blows to them, knocking them all around and through various objects (all while avoiding their axes, punches and kicks, etc.). During this Sing stomps down on many of their feet, flattening them like pancakes.
  • Sing and the Beast battle each other, with many severe blows and kicks delivered to each other. The Beast then evokes some sort of frog power, blasting off from the ground and blasting Sing back through many walls in a building. He then does the same again, blasting Sing way, way up into the sky.
  • Sing uses his powers to create an enormous handprint that smashes the Beast down into the street, leaving a handprint several feet deep there.
  • A tremendous amount of property damage occurs during a battle between Sing and the Beast.



  • Reviewed March 18, 2005 / Posted April 22, 2005

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