Written By: François-Noël Vanasse
This is a difficult time. The world is riddled with anxiety, fear, and a deadly disease that has radically interrupted the daily life of nearly everything and everyone. So, for the whole month of April, The Porkchop Express presents: THE QUARANTINE STREAM, a 30 day series designed to help shine a light on a film that is worthy of your time and might very well be the distraction you need. In an effort to keep it fresh, we will be alternating between the big three services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu) and trying to keep the choices as varied as possible.
Day Four, sprinkle some laughter on your ass-kicking with this martial arts action-comedy now available on Netflix!
Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
Hong Kong martial arts action movies were, and continue to be, an enormously influential genre of films. Its peak in the 1970s launched dozens of careers and permanently impacted global pop culture. While some stars shortly found incredible success at marrying comedy with the drama and action of martial arts like Jackie Chan, it took decades for the genre to start making fun of itself. With arthouse crossover hits in the Wuxia genre like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), deliberately self-serious and beautiful films, a new market bloomed for taking the piss out of these conventions. Slapstick cult films like Kung-Pow: Enter the Fist (2002) or Shaolin Soccer (2001) led to at least one masterpiece in Kung Fu Hustle. The turn of the century gangster setting, and the twin cliches of chosen one hero and down on his luck dirtbag main character make for a delightful experience for fans with even a cursory experience of the genre (seriously, just having seen one of The Matrix movies is more than enough preparation). The film’s only weakness is Stephen Chow’s somewhat lackluster stunt choreography, but by surrounding himself with retired Hong Kong legends and playing it as a joke you’ll be too busy laughing to care.