Top 500 Films – #500 – Kung Pow: Enter The Fist (2002)
DIRECTED BY: Steve Oedekerk
STARRING: Steve Oedekerk
FAVE QUOTE: “Killing is wrong. And bad. There should be a new, stronger word for killing. Like badwrong, or badong. Yes, killing is badong.” – Chosen One
FAVE MOMENT: It’s a toss between the part in the opening scene with the baby rolling down the hill or anytime Ling screams WEE-OOH (laugh everytime. Without fail)
Kung Pow: Enter the Fist is a movie within a movie, created to spoof the martial arts genre. Writer/director Steve Oedekerk uses contemporary characters and splices them into a 1970s kung-fu film, weaving the new and old together. As the main character, The Chosen One, Oedekerk sets off to avenge the deaths of his parents at the hands of kung-fu legend Master Pain. Along the way, he encounters some strange characters, one of which is a cow trained in the martial arts.
Time to begin the list so at Number 500 is Kung Pow, a comedy that came out of nowhere with a cult following. It’s definitely badong but in a good way as Oedekerk creates a film within a film and creating some quality comedy gems along the way (mainly Master Pain aka Betty as the big bad villain of the piece). There are some moments of comedy that range from strange (Gopher Chucks!) to the damn right ridiculous (Chosen One VS The Cow fight scene).
When released it was critically slated, I mean one review claimed ‘If you’ve gone to Kung Pow for the plot, you have made a mistake. Come to think of it, if you have gone for the comedy, you’ve also made a mistake. In fact, if you’ve gone at all, you’ve made a mistake’ and my personal fave review of the film was ‘Like a slug that crawls across the screen for eighty minutes before dying of its own nausea.’ Personally I like stupid comedies, in particular ones i’m not expecting to be funny and if you listen to critic reviews then well it’s your loss as some of them can be snobbish at best about particular films but everyone has their different tastes.
Kung Pow never takes itselfs slightly seriously and some of the fight scene set pieces are hilarious with the dubbed dialogue added onto it. Thinking back on it, the premise was a great idea, using around 80% of footage from an old film and just dub over it whilst adding new material. The sequel has been rumoured for some time but just thinking now has the time passed now and the appeal gone? You let me know.