‘Kung Fu Hustle’

By Richard Pulfer

“Kung Fu Hustle” is from the warped mind of Stephen Chow, who also directed the critically-acclaimed-until-actually-watched “Shaolin Soccer.” Luckily, “Hustle” is a great deal more enjoyable than Chow’s previous CGI-laden disaster.

In 1940s China, the sly dancing Axe Gang has met its match in an obscure poor neighborhood populated by three powerful martial artists. The Axe Gang becomes determined, hiring various assassins to dispatch the martial artists, while two incompetent thugs wander the streets, aspiring to join the Axe Gang, and failing miserably to appear the least bit threatening.

“Hustle” is usually quite amusing, but the film jumps around too much to make use of its material. The end of the film looks more like a “Dragonball Z” rip than a kung fu parody. “Kung Fu Hustle” is a step in the right direction, but the direction needs 20 less cups of coffee.