Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
For all its excitement Kung Fu Hustle is mostly a marvel of comedic ingenuity and mile-a-minute creativity run wild. You've never seen anything like it.
San Francisco Chronicle:
Kung Fu Hustle is destined to be the next Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon -- a subtitled movie for people who don't do subtitles.
Thumbing its nose at gravity, deflating Zen solemnity, embracing big-top artifice with childish glee, Kung Fu Hustle zings you with some of the most unfettered slapstick ever put on film.
A film where special effects erase physics and the constraints of the human body, there's absolutely no telling what will come next.
Kung Fu Hustle will not only please martial-arts fans, it's witty and energetic enough to engage those who usually ignore such choreographed Asian dust-ups.
Like a meal prepared by an extreme chef, 'Hustle is more than a bit of a mess. It still tastes like nothing you've ever had before.
Lingering on such details is a new development for Chow, recalling the style of another aspirant to global pop cinema, Sergio Leone. Given all the hyperbolic kung fu, it's easy to overlook such quietly observant grace notes.
...the knockdown hilarity of it all made me wonder where this subgenre of martial-arts action flick might be heading. A lot of it is riotously funny.
Chow, perhaps the first action star and filmmaker to be as influenced by classic cartoons as by the karate-chop balletics of human movement, directs like a gonzo fusion of Tarantino and Tex Avery.
An almost exhaustingly inventive action comedy that uses every available trick.
If the plot elements seem like a duck soup of every Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan picture ever conceived, they are lifted into a whole other stratosphere of ingenuity by Chow and his design team's indefatigable visual imagination.
So disarmingly eager to please that only a stone-faced kung fu purist could object.
New York Magazine/Vulture:
Chow's movie may seem nutty on the surface, but its slyness, its dreamy unfolding of so many moods and genres, becomes intoxicating.
The imagination lies not in the film's fight choreography, but in the way it mines Hollywood cliches for off-kilter comedy.
New York Daily News:
With its melange of influences, Kung Fu Hustle is everything, and with its lack of emotional coherence, it's nothing.
New York Observer:
The truth is that I haven't seen nearly enough unimaginative martial-arts movies to respond to Mr. Chow's bizarre flights of fancy.
Broad, low farces with little story and stuffed with epic fights built on plainly impossible, plainly faked gags, they're still a stitch.
Viewers will discover that the film has something to offer nearly everyone, whether they are a novice or a black belt in kung fu cinema.
When I saw it at Sundance, I wrote that it was 'like Jackie Chan and Buster Keaton meet Quentin Tarantino and Bugs Bunny.' You see how worked up you can get, watching a movie like this.
Listen, it's a fun movie. I should probably shut up and let you enjoy it.
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Hatchet fu, shotgun fu, flowerpot fu, harp fu, cobra fu, disco fu, Zen fu, Kubrick fu, Road Runner fu, geezer fu, bullfrog fu. Kung Fu Hustle features every type of fu except deja fu.
Globe and Mail:
The latest film from Hong Kong's reigning comic star and director, Stephen Chow ... is a celebration of Hong Kong action cinema that mocks gravity, both emotional and physical.
Retrieving the martial arts movie from the gentrified middlebrow tastefulness of movies like House of Flying Daggers is only one item on Kung Fu Hustle's agenda.
With Hustle's release on 2,000 U.S. screens this week, Americans get to see what's so funny about Chow. The laugh's on them for not noticing him before.
A chop-socky on f/x steroids that's devoid of genuine inspiration or involving character development.
Kung Fu Hustle snaps and crackles like nuclear popcorn on a scorching griddle.
But for all its stylishness, verve and moments of visual poetry, the relentlessly punishing slapstick and overall cruel tone left me cold.