Do the Hustle

Finally got to see “Kung Fu Hustle” last night. We almost missed it, waiting for Elbie at work. Something about a crashing hard drive on a mail server kept him busy until just about 10pm. Luckily, we were standing by, ready to speed him off to Conestoga and catch the late show. Earlier, we ate at the Jane Bond, where I had the most garlicy caesar salad, ever. Now, I’m a big fan of garlic … a really big fan. But this salad hurt. I’ve never been hurt by a salad before, and it’s not a pleasant feeling. I think I can still taste it now.
Film was … oh, how do I say this? Awesome. It was cartoony, fun, exciting, engrossing. I was still laughing about the cobras 20 minutes after the fact. It was all good. I have to admit, though, that I was a little worried at some points in the film — that it would follow my expectations, and fall into some of the same routines I’ve seen in other films. The beginning of the film was surprisingly violent, immediately establishing itself as a non-kids film, despite what the trailers, or reviewers might say. I was concerned it wasn’t going to lighten up any. At one point, the film seemed a little over-the-top cartoony, and like “The Mask”, a pedestrian translation of the neat and extremely violent comic book, it wouldn’t be able to pull back from the brink of Bugs Bunny-esque madness — but it did. I was nervous that “Kung Fu Hustle” was going to pull punches (pun somewhat intended), and resort to only campy situations, and mediocre laughs. But, pull away the humour and the zany special effects, and you had a great and reasonably serious Kung Fu fable film, just like we’ve been seeing for years. This one’s just much more fun — especially fun when it came to all the film and pop-culture references: KFH poked fun at other martial artists, like Jackie Chan, Let Li, and even Stephen Chow; it managed to mix “Gangs of New York,” “Spiderman,” “The Matrix,” and “Gone With the Wind” together; it even made fun of “Shaolin Soccer,” when the main character, Sing (Stephen Chow) steps on a soccer ball and yells, “No more soccer!”
I’m going to see this film again. At my earliest convenience.