Running time: 95 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK release date: 24th June 2005
Watched on Sky+ Tuesday 9th November 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I have a vague recollection of seeing parts of this film before, maybe after a few beers one night. Needless to say, my attention wasn’t fully focused on the screen. So it was nice to sit down (sober) and watch it in its entirety. A very enjoyable film with some great comedic moments, excellent CGI and some tremendous fight sequences. But more of that later, here’s a brief summary first (summary haters please ignore the next paragraph).
It’s Shanghai in the 1940’s, competing gangs run the city and the most powerful is the “Axe Gang” led by Brother Sum. Only very poor neighbourhoods escape the gangs and one of these is Pig Sty Alley, a housing complex run by a crazy Landlord and Landlady. Sing and his sidekick Bone have ambitions to join the Axe Gang and one day they turn up in the Alley posing as Axe Gang members and start some trouble. This comes to the attention of the real Axe Gang and they intervene. Unknown to them, living amongst the down-and-outs in the alley are three former Kung Fu masters who defend their turf with great zeal. Brother Sum, seeking revenge, employs two assassins who are ultimately defeated by these three and another two other, rather unexpected, Kung Fu masters. Now quite furious, Brother Sum allows Sing, a skilled lock-pick, to join the gang and sends him to spring the ultimate assassin, The Beast, out of jail. We are now all set for the big showdown but Sing still has a part to play in the outcome.
I really enjoyed this film; even the subtitles didn’t detract too much from the action on the screen. The film has a comic-book style, which, although it relies quite heavily on CGI, is brought about more by the script, the set design and the actors than the computer generated visuals. Great performances all round, particularly from; Stephen Chow as Sing, Qiu Yuen as the Landlady, Wah Yuen as The Landlord, Kwok-Kwan Chan as Brother Sum, Zhi Hua Dong as Donut and Siu-Lung Leung as The Beast.
There are some great comic moments and many plot twists that take the audience on quite a journey. You never quite know just what is going to happen next. If I have a criticism, it’s that the fight scenes did drag on a little bit too long, but apart from that, a very entertaining film. It’s one that left me with a smile on my face and that’s always a good sign! I would certainly watch it again and so it’s highly recommended.
My score: 8.1/10
IMDb Page: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0373074/
Official Site: http://www.kungfuhustle.com/