Friday, May 20, 2016

Film Review: Kung Pow! Enter the Fist (2002)

Kung Pow! Enter the Fist (Review)
United States/2002
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It is often absurd and juvenile, it's certainly not a film for everyone, but I enjoyed it."

Raised by rodents, The Chosen One (Steve Oedekerk) wanders from town to town searching for the man responsible for the death of his parents...

Kung Pow! Enter the Fist is an... interesting film. It's a little difficult to review, too. First and foremost, the film uses footage from a movie titled Tiger and Crane Fist as well as original footage to create an unrelated plot. This plot follows The Chosen One as he tries to defeat Master Pain (who later renames himself to 'Betty') and avenge his parents. He'll meet some bizarre characters, fight a few bad guys, and train for his final fight. In terms of narrative, there isn't much to say about this parody. Well, it does lead to a humorous ending and a trailer to a sequel we never received. Maybe someday we'll finally see Kung Pow 2: Tongue of Fury. Someday...

Kung Pow! Enter the Fist is not a film for everyone. You probably know that already from the abysmal Rotten Tomatoes score. But, what do they know? Huh? A bunch of critics sitting around in their fedoras, wearing monocles, and smoking pipes, right? (I'm not one of those guys, so you can trust me.) I liked Enter the Fist in all of its slapstick, juvenile glory. I liked it when I was 10 years old and I like it now. The purposely poor dubbing, the ridiculous gags, and the clever parody made this a joy to watch. I mean, where else will you find a martial arts movie where the main character fights a computer-generated cow? How many martial arts movies feature "Baby Got Back" or "Can't Touch This"? Sure, some of the gags are a bit too juvenile and/or repetitive, but it's mostly a fun experience. It's not something you should take seriously.

Steve Oedekerk is like a cartoon character in this. He even has a pinch of charisma and charm in his performance. I liked him. Oedekerk also handles most of the dubbing, creating ridiculous voices for all of the characters. The music is good, too. The computer effects are obviously outdated and bad, considering the low budget and the time of release. The editing, the chroma keying in particular, wasn't bad. Steve Oedekerk also writes and directs. Although some of the humor is unnecessarily juvenile, Oedekerk delivers an entertaining parody. He seems to have some passion for the genre and it shows through this unique project.

Overall, Kung Pow! Enter the Fist is a great comedy. It is often absurd and juvenile, it's certainly not a film for everyone, but I enjoyed it. It's definitely better than films like Disaster Movie or Scary Movie 5. If you're looking for something truly ridiculous, check it out. If you don't like the first five minutes, drop it and move on. I'd recommend giving it a shot, though.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Comic violence and blood, some sexual references.

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