Kung Fu Hustle

  • Review Date: August 8, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Rowdy martial arts comedy. Older teens and up.
  • Review Date: August 8, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

Lots of cartoonish and stylized violence.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film includes extravagant violence, mostly cartoonish and stylized (martial arts wirework and digitally enhanced). The characters range from naïve romantics to hardcore hired killers, the tone is wildly comic and often charming, as the film pays homage to previous martial arts films. The good guys not only win, but also encourage the villain to rethink his evil ways.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Young Sing (writer-director Stephen Chow) wants to become a member of the notorious Axe Gang, but soon changes sides when called on to defend a community against that very gang. In so doing, he becomes the hero he was destined to be, a butterfly emerging from the proverbial caterpillar.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This rowdy martial arts comedy contains fairly relentless violence. Though most of this is cartoonish (speedy, splatty, exaggerated), it might be alarming for young viewers. On another level, the film itself is a transformation, signaling a 21st-century shift in understanding and appreciation of kung fu movies. Sing's transition from boy to man, gangster-wannabe to full-on master occasions an entertaining, convoluted, and quite brilliant run through genres and conventions ranging from Bruce Lee to Looney Tunes.

Set in Canton, China in the 1940s, KUNG FU HUSTLE features action that is both hectic and ferocious (the fights and wirework are choreographed by the brilliant Yuen Wo Ping and Sammo Hung). Its delightful mix of action and comedy -- outrageous, Jackie-Chan-ish, fantastic -- makes such fight scenes little stories all their own. The fighters in defense of Pig Sty Alley include tailor Chiu Chi Ling, "coolie" Xing Yu, and baker Dong Zhi Hua, as well as the Landlord (Yuen Wah) and his greedy wife, the Landlady (Yuen Qiu, a famous kung fu star returning to the screen after almost 30 years). Introduced as supporting-character stereotypes, they soon become part of Sing's emergence process. Their ruthless opponent, Brother Sum (Chan Kwok-kwan), employs a pair of harp players (Jia Kang Xi and Fung Hak On), whose music turns into harrowing physical forces, and then the Beast (Leung Siu Lung), who declares, "I've killed so many, just trying to find a worthy adversary." The Beast's style (Toad Style) creates a neat aesthetic tension with Sing's (Buddha Palm Kung Fu). The film's spoofs and homages are well wrought, stunts and physical jokes brutal, and conventions alternately tired and twisted. Chow pulls all these disparate bits together, in a kung fu movie about kung fu movies.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the traditional story of a young hero who achieves his destiny, the popularity of kung fu movies, and the use of excessive violence to comic effects.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 8, 2005
DVD release date:August 8, 2005
Cast:Stephen Chow, Wah Yuen, Xiaogang Feng
Director:Stephen Chow
Studio:Sony Pictures Classics
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sequences of strong stylized action and violence.

This review of Kung Fu Hustle was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

FUN FUN FUN!

Its a really fun movie. Does not deserve an "R" rating.
Teen, 14 years old Written byGamer April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Kung Fu Hustle is a great movie.

First of all, I have no idea how this got the R rating. There's a little bit of gore and one guy says the F word once. This has the stuff that you'd find in a typical PG-13 movie. It's a great movie, with a lot of laughs and action. You should see it if you can; it makes fun of the over-used kung-fu plots out there, but it stays true to the genre and offers plenty of hard-hitting action. If you consider your 12 year old in the least bit mature, let him see it. He'll thank you. -Mr. Critic, 12 years old.
Adult Written bygodeygrrl April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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