Guest Author - Caroline Baker
The mix between comedy and Martial Arts is always a fine balance. After all, the idea of healing or hurting someone is not necessarily a very funny event in life. The latest movie to attempt this is Kung Fu Hustle.
Set in an older China, prior to Communist rule but after the invention of cars, a small time gangster, Sing, makes an attempt at intimidating a ghetto to become a member of a bigger gang, Axe, who oversee the whole city but ignores this spot. Unfortunately, Sing unwittingly uncovers several Martial Arts masters that challenge both his and the Axe gang rule over the district. This sets off a series of battles where Sing must eventually decide which side he supports.
Depending on what appeals to you as comedy, you may find yourself on either side of the fence in terms of enjoying this movie. The movie implores a very slack-stick way to invoke laughter, a la Three Stooges. The movie makes a parody statement on almost every other Martial Arts "scene" that has grown popular, like the flying body scene in the Matrix.
It also relied heavily on Street Fighter "talents" to explain its Martial Arts. So as, where Jackie Chan's comedy lies in a common man finding himself in extreme situations. This movie was more aligned with Big Trouble in Little China, where more of skills of each fighter were determined on mystical powers that aren't necessarily based in reality.
So, if you're looking for a fairly light-hearted movie that may fill your time on a rainy day, this might do the trick. However, don't expect this movie to be an example of great Martial Arts.