Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 90 minutes
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“Kung Pow: Enter the Fist” is like a slug that crawls across the screen for eighty minutes before dying of its own nausea. The film is so bad it doesn’t improve upon the experience of staring at a blank screen.
The film opens with its star and director and writer and producer Steve Oedekerk as “the Chosen One,” a legendary warrior bent on avenging the death of his parents at the hands of evil Kung Fu killers. It’s at this point that “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist” lays a bombshell on us: It’s a movie within a movie. That’s right. The actors have been inserted into an actual 1976 chop socky flick entitled “Savage Killers.” I almost had a heart attack laughing so much. You’ll also be interested to know that the film includes shots of a character having a foot stuck up his ass, and a cow shooting milk out of uh, certain body parts. The laugh riot then gets around to spoofing recent martial arts flicks like “Romeo Must Die” and a bunch of comedic sermons about inner strength and overcoming ones fears.
This is a seriously bad film. None of the gags work, not one. First of all, how did anyone at any level of production conclude that this screenplay was filmable? How did anyone figure that Steve Oedekerk, a sometimes director(“Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls”) could be its star?
He’s shrill and irritable. I was even annoyed by his teeth, which I swear must come from the same mold as the big teeth Matt Dillon had in “There’s Something About Mary.” He’s not an actor. I didn’t like his laugh, didn’t like his facial expressions, and I hated the arrogance that Oedekerk walks around with in the film. You get the feeling that he actually thinks he’s funny which I guess proves that denial, however unhealthy, is a very powerful thing. I do not think it’s funny seeing people get beat up just for the sake of slapstick, or to see tired movie traditions parodied to the point of exhaustion. Aren’t the martial arts films already a parody of themselves anyway?
Watching “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist” I found myself meditating about the would be Hong Kong action movie invasion that was supposed to take over Hollywood a few years ago. There’s been some good movies for sure(“The Replacement Killers”) and some commercially successful ones like the awful “Romeo Must Die” which made a lot of money, most of it from people who didn’t like it very much. But the genre has remained in cult status, for the diehard fans. It’s sad that a movie as awful as “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist” would even be categorized in the same genre as the films of Bruce Lee or John Woo. “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist” deserves a category all its own. Comedies without laughs.
Posted on January 25, 2002 in Reviews by David Grove
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