Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Family movie night? There's an app for that

Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.

Parents' Guide to

Kung Fu Hustle

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Rowdy martial arts comedy. Older teens and up.

Movie R 2005 95 minutes
Kung Fu Hustle Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 10+
age 13+

Fun action comedy for teens and up

Funny film! Action scenes are imaginative, with lots of physical comedy. Some casual misogyny and homophobia, but not as bad as some media circa 2005. Violence could be upsetting to young kids but it's not gory or particularly brutal--very stylized consistent with wuxia and other Stephen Chow. Little too much love for landlords, but otherwise nice to see tenant solidarity in a film. Cops are accurately depicted as useless.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (17 ):

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.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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