Stephen Chow

Hong Kong funnyman.

Shaolin Soccer (2001) -- Movies like these need to be made--at once a parody of Kung Fu movies as well as all the things that people like about Kung Fu movies to begin with. So you get to see people flying around all crazy, but this time it's usually for soccer instead of, you know, honor or whatever. There are a few bugs in the movie, like the pointlessness of the girl with the messed-up face and her relationship with Stephen Chow that isn't developed successfully (which tries to be the serious "anchor," I guess, but it doesn't work), or the let's-throw-this-in dancing sequence, but for the most part it's really funny and of course visually entertaining. There are two versions on DVD: the dubbed American version and the original Hong Kong subtitled version, both of which are worth watching since there are subtle (and not so subtle) differences between the two versions--both of which seem to be equally fine. B

Kung Fu Hustle (2004) -- Essentially the same stuff as Shaolin Soccer, but the characters are a little less interesting and the Kung Fu is more in the direction of Looney Tunes violence than simple over-the-top fighting.  There's still the dumb plot involving a girl (this time she's blind, of course--another Kung Fu convention, but unfortunately not played for laughs here) and an unnecessary dance sequence (I suppose it's obligatory more than necessary at this point), and -- as is the problem with Kung Fu movies themselves -- once you've seen one Stephen Chow movie you've seen them all.  So it's fun to watch, but also forgettable in its own way.  So imaginative it's dull?  Something. B

Copyright (c) Sep 2004 - Oct 2005 by Rusty Likes Movies