Kung Fu Hustle

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

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 8 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
Violence

Lots of cartoonish and stylized violence.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
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.

Wondering if Kung Fu Hustle is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDJC2020 March 29, 2020

NOT FOR CHILDREN. GREAT MOVIE.

To start. I would like to say that the only reason I am adding this review is, due to going through the main reviews from kids and adults I believe it will lead... Continue reading
Adult Written byNeonKennedy November 10, 2011
Teen, 13 years old Written byXtreme101 October 16, 2015

Kung Fu Film Is Okay, But There Are Multiple Alternatives.

This movie is really freaking weird. Right before seeing this movie, I did some research, and apparantly it was nominated for 16 and won 6 Hong Kong Film Awards... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 11, 2013

Kung Fu Hustle rating

Great movie I love it! No need for the 'R' rating in my tastes it would be a PG-13.....Anyway this movie does have lots of violence, the bit at the be... Continue reading

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

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate