Kung Fu Hustle

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

Its the 1930s in this fully subtitled action comedy, and Shanghai China is ruled by a ruthless street gang, called the Axes, who quickly put an end to anyone who dares to challenge them. Writer-director Stephen Chow plays an Axes wannabe. When the landlord (Yuen Wah), landlady (Yuen Qiu) and residents of a slum resist the Axes, the gang is understandably angered and sends in reinforcements to show the people who is really in control. But they come up against several kung-fu masters who happen to be living secretly in the slum. The masters successfully preserve the slum but know that it is only a matter of time before the Axes retaliate with highly trained kung-fu killers. When that happens, the slum and its masters are bound to fall to the merciless Axes unless someone more powerful can come to their aid.

Kung Fu Hustle succeeds not because it possesses a wonderful plot but because it is full of unexpected jaw-dropping action and visual effects. With a crazy comedic mixture of reality and fantasy, a world is created in which anything can happen. It is this complete unpredictability that keeps the audience astonished and attentive. Set in China against a backdrop of Buddhism and the associated martial arts, this films Buddhist worldview comes out most clearly when one character comments that, The good cannot exist without the bad. Viewers should note that this is contrary to the Christian concept of a God who was and is completely good, with or without the existence of evil. In the end, graphic content definitely ruins the fun for Kung Fu Hustle. Over-the-top violence, some gore, homosexual innuendo, partial nudity and subtitled foul language push this film deep into Previews negative territory.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
Sony Pictures Classics

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (19) times mild (hell 4, damn 2); strong (-ss 12, b-tch 1)

Obscene Language: Several (8) times moderate (p-ss 1, cr-p 1); strong (f-word 1, s-word 5)

Profanity: Once moderate (G 1)

Violence: Many times mild (characters practice kung fu, various forms of physical comedy including falling); moderate (almost constant kung-fu fighting including hand-to-hand combat, use of weapons, some fighting portrayed humorously, combat portrayed in supernatural ways that include severe defiance of physics, man thrown out of window; strong (some gory violence involving decapitation of humans and animals but with very little blood, boys beat up another boy and then urinate on him, man enjoys killing to prove his prowess in combat)

Sex: None

Nudity: Few times moderate (young mans buttocks uncovered in a few scenes)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times mild (man jokingly propositions a woman, woman finds lipstick on her husbands cheek and accuses him of cheating)

Drugs: Few times mild (woman smokes constantly, use of tobacco and alcohol)

Other: References to Buddhism, chi, ones aura and the yin-yang balance of good and evil in the universe; various additional references to Buddhist and Eastern worldview; boys urinate on another boy

Running Time: 98 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults and Martial Arts fans

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