On the big screen everything looks majestic, grand, out of this world. add some popcorn and you have your escapism shot.
a smalltime kung fu movie ? a smart alek parody of old Chinese cinema with exaggerated special effects and a general feel of a cheap comic book? That's the best movie ever made? Yes. What can I do, don’t look at me with that tone of voice, I stand behind this view.
You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…
Ah, the best movie of all times. What what what ? yes, I have said it before and I will say it again. The best movie of all times. Ok. Maybe I am exaggerating. No I am not. Sorry.
I know, I know, a smalltime kung fu movie ? a smart alek parody of old Chinese cinema with exaggerated special effects and a general feel of a cheap comic book? That's the best movie ever made? Yes. What can I do, don’t look at me with that tone of voice, I stand behind this view. And you know why it is such a great movie? Not because it is an obvious school of cinema where Chow shows us how things are done, or should be done, and he does, no, it is such a great film because it is done with love. And it shows.
What're you looking at?
Never seen an ice cream thief before?"
A good storyteller engages you by going deep into their own experience and bringing to light his interests, his stories, his feelings, tempting you to go on this ride with him, and Kung-Fu hustle is a very personal journey of a very public art form and entertainment industry.
It is martin Scorsese with a twist of dream. It is Fellini with a scissor kick to the head, it is the Peking opera acrobatics, with the Hong Kong cheap special effects, the respect for the masters, the laughter of the children, our laughter. Our childhood.
If I am already investing my time in cinematic escapism, I appreciate it when the film maker takes me on the full ride. If I am already leaving this reality of mine for an hour and a half, please carry me away, send me on a trip I will never forget. And Chow does just that, and how I thank him for it. This movie puts him on top of the pile I call 'story tellers' and that is the most respected bunch of the lot. A director can provoke my thoughts,. Evoke my feelings, make me cry, make me laugh, but only few get the title, that old world craft title – story teller.
All I want is to kill you, or be killed by you."
Kung fu hustle is, at least for me, the full package, the full deal. Beautiful backgrounds and sceneries coming alive in a small pig sty courtyard? Check. Artfully choreographed camera movements reminiscing of old Italian films celebrating life? Check. Funny characters right out of a twisted comic book? Check. Love story? check? Dancelike fight scenes which manage to be clever and surprisingly fresh? Check. Cheesy special effects just to make sure you are thrown as far from reality as possible? Check. What else can you ask for?
I am usually not a big fan of what you call fusion. In music it gives you horrible non descript mutations of melodies and in food it is usually nothing more than pompous mediocre excuse for cuisine. But I do have to admit that Kung fu hustle is such an amazing film because they did take that one step towards the west, they did manage to incorporate the visual, conceptual and thematic principals of old 1940's Hong Kong action flicks with an almost Hollywoodian production value, making the final product much more accessible and easy to digest.
And then there is the music. that Chinese kung-fu typical movies from the glory days of being shanghaied forever, when men wore suits, the Hong Kong bay was full of fisherman barges and the streets were as dangerous as they were exotic. It is a ticket to the romanticized culture they once had, a brief auditory time travel moment choreographed by a genius, played by the best of their genre and concocted in the overall experience with the trusty fingers of a master weaver, playing a part in each scene, playing a part in our consciousness, our perception of what we see on the screen, of where we are right now.
It is fast, it is funny, it is beautiful, it is witty, it is schmaltzy, it is action filled, it is a film, a story, a fable. In the true sense of the word.
If you haven’t seen it – watch it.
if you have – watch it again.
Ok. ,maybe not the best film ever made. Maybe I got carried away, but definitely in my top three favorite movies of all times. And that's enough.