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Kung Fu Hustle

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Kung Fu Hustle Movie Poster Image
Rowdy martial arts comedy. Older teens and up.
  • R
  • 2005
  • 95 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 19 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Lots of cartoonish and stylized violence.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byNeonKennedy November 10, 2011
Adult Written bygodeygrrl April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written byGamer April 9, 2008

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... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008


Its a really fun movie. Does not deserve an "R" rating.

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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