It’s a love it or hate it kinda movie.
Some will protest that it’s a mindless and stupid comedy not worth watching. Well, I say it’s a mindless and stupid comedy that you should definitely watch! Just don’t take it too seriously, it’s all just a bit of fun!
Steve Oedekerk plays the Chosen One, or ‘Chosen’ for short.
Chosen’s family was murdered when he was an infant by Master Pain. During the ruthless killing, Master Pain turns his dagger on baby Chosen in fear of his potential to destroy the evil council. Chosen, as a baby, then bashes Master Pain and escapes.
Yeah I know, crazy right?
He grows up learning kung fu and fighting off constant attackers before he finally arrives at Master Tang’s dojo as an adult. There he meets Ling, a crazy but moderately attractive woman who Chosen decides he wants to try hook up with.
Then there’s also Wimp Lo who is a very special martial artist (played by Lau Kar Wing) that Master Tang has ‘Purposely trained him wrong, as a joke!’. It is there we are revealed Chosen One’s gift: a small winking face on his tongue known simply as ‘Tonguey’.
Before long Master Pain is in town trying to find the Chosen One.
He renames himself to the menacing title of ‘Betty’, and begins to reign terror on the town. From there the battle is on to defeat
Master Pain Betty, and repel the Evil council. All this happens the while dealing with Wimp Lo’s jealous challenges as he beats himself into defeat and being guided by a one boobed woman known simply as ‘One’…. among other crazy things!
Just stop. You may need to re-read that last paragraph so your brain can catch up.
So what’s the real deal?
So you know the basic plot of the movie isn’t about story lines and battles but a full on parody of old Kung Fu movies put together using footage from the movie Tiger and Crane Fist, intercutting new scenes and replacing actor Jimmy Wang Yu (think One Armed Swordsman) with Steve Oedekerk.
One of the most noticeable elements of this movie is the bad dubbing, where dialogue was purposely recorded to be ‘out of sync’ with the lips movements caught on camera.
I find it hilarious that there have been reviews of this movie in the past where the dubbing was rated down as a weakness in the film, even though it is an intended joke pointed at a time in Hong Kong movie history when dubbing was generally pretty terrible.
The many different ways they played with this bad dubbing really is quite funny. Long speeches covered with short sentences, overly delayed barks coming from Chosen’s dog, simply named ‘Dog’. Most of the voices in the movie are all dubbed by Steve Oedekerk himself, putting on some really crazy voices – especially that of Ling and her insistent ‘WWWeeeeoooooowwwww, weeooww weeooww wweeeee!’
Mixing in his character and some extra scenes with look alikes, Oedekerk not only makes a natural and funny movie to watch, but also demonstrates a commendable effort as the precise nature of the script writing (fitting the speech lengths to match the original dialogue). It is the technique feats that make this movie really unique in my opinion.
They’ve inserted Steve Oedekerk’s head into different scenes and even added different characters into the background to really tie things together. Despite the films cheap projection, it’s very well done.
The Martial Arts
You may think a movie like this doesn’t earn much actual Martial Arts merit being that it’s 100% comedy, but there are a couple of things worth commenting on.
The fight scenes of the original film are pretty standard, but there are some funny additional fights at the beginning of the movie, and the fight between chosen and the cow.
What impressed me most though was Steve Oedekerk. This guy got in shape and actually learned some stuff!
When the fights start, Steve rips of his shirt revealing a six pack and muscles most martial artists would love to have. One top of that during his ‘Gofer-chucks’ scene, he displays some pretty nice Nunchaku work that would have required a lot rehearsing and practice. I was pretty impressed.
Love or Hate – if you haven’t seen it give it a go.
You may curse my name and say ‘this movie is total crap!’ and I understand, it has a very on the nose nature about it that some people will utterly loathe. One the other hand some people will love it. So if you go in with an open mind you’ll make it up pretty quick. Give it a go if you haven’t already!
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Kung Pow: Enter the First (The Chosen Edition)
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Kung Pow – Enter the Fist [DVD]
Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
Kung Pow on DVD