Kung fu 2004

Critics score:
90 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: It would seem all but impossible not to have a good time watching Kung Fu Hustle... Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: 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. Read more

Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune: A full-on-the-mouth, sloppy-wet kiss to Hong Kong martial arts movies. Read more

Ruthe Stein, 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. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: 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. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: I've never been a big fan of that over the top slapstick stuff. Read more

Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Hilarious, thrilling, toon-like martial arts flick that's an absolute joy to watch. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: A film where special effects erase physics and the constraints of the human body, there's absolutely no telling what will come next. Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: 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. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: 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. Read more

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: A lively, action-packed and witty piece of globalist entertainment. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: 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. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: ...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. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Ridiculous? Nah. Kung Fu Hustle is sublime entertainment. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: 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. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: If you're not entertained, it's time to get off the decaf. Read more

David Chute, L.A. Weekly: An almost exhaustingly inventive action comedy that uses every available trick. Read more

Jan Stuart, Newsday: 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. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: So disarmingly eager to please that only a stone-faced kung fu purist could object. Read more

Ken Tucker, 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. Read more

Lisa Rose, Newark Star-Ledger: The imagination lies not in the film's fight choreography, but in the way it mines Hollywood cliches for off-kilter comedy. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: With its melange of influences, Kung Fu Hustle is everything, and with its lack of emotional coherence, it's nothing. Read more

Andrew Sarris, 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. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Broad, low farces with little story and stuffed with epic fights built on plainly impossible, plainly faked gags, they're still a stitch. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: 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. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: 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. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com: Listen, it's a fun movie. I should probably shut up and let you enjoy it. Read more

Colin Covert, 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. Read more

Liam Lacey, 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. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: 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. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: 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. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: A lively, visual treat. Read more

Derek Elley, Variety: A chop-socky on f/x steroids that's devoid of genuine inspiration or involving character development. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: A kung fu parody that's also a terrific kung fu movie. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Kung Fu Hustle snaps and crackles like nuclear popcorn on a scorching griddle. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: But for all its stylishness, verve and moments of visual poetry, the relentlessly punishing slapstick and overall cruel tone left me cold. Read more