Kung Pow: Enter the Fist

Regardless of all the junk that permeates Hollywood releases today, it still presumably takes a small amount of creativity to write a screenplay. So for Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, the real question is, is it more creative to write an original screen play or take a movie already made and dub over the lines? Writer/director Steve Oederkerk (Nothing to Lose, Thumb Wars: The Phantom Cuticle) chose the latter, writing new dialogue, providing all the voices, and editing himself into the 1977 film Tiger and Crane Fist. The resulting movie is sophomoric and nearly a complete waste of time. Sure it's funny for a couple minutes, but the jokes become weary and repetitive. Oederkerk is the Chosen One, a mystical kung fu guru (and oddly enough the only white man in China, but nobody ever addresses this). He is searching for his past, and trying to avenge the death of his parents.

As an infant, he was the only survivor of an attack on his family by Master Pain (Lung Fei, The Young Bruce Lee, Dual Flying Kicks). Now, Pain is going by the name Betty, and presumably up to no good. Some mystical energy protects Betty from pain, and it's up to the Chosen One to figure out how to defeat him. He goes to Master Tang (Chen Hui Lou, The Fearless Hyena Part II, The Green Jade Statuette) for training and help, and falls in love with his daughter. Looking back, there is very little substance to Kung Pow. It sort of meanders along, mixing in lame attempts at humor with exaggerated martial arts sequences and a couple movie spoofs. There are lots of scenes of Oederkerk walking through a field. Watching Oederkerk and a cow go at it in a Matrix style fight sequence is not funny. Neither is watching Oederkerk use gophers as nunchucks, or a one-breasted woman. Like some of the martial arts movies he is spoofing, the story becomes incomprehensible. It is not worth trying to understand it, because there is almost nothing to understand.

It is slightly funny the way he skewers dubbing. But only for a while. Each voice Oederkerk dubs is annoyingly changed so that men have high pitched voices, or people make odd noises constantly. It stops being funny once people realize that the characters are going to speak like this for the duration of the movie. It seems that Oederkerk's primary goal is to annoy the audience with a constant barrage of squeaks and grunts from his characters. Kung Pow clocks in at ten minutes less than most movies, making it a tad on the short side. The last portion of the movie is a (hopefully fake) trailer for the sequel, which means the actual film is even shorter. Still, this is nothing more than a comedy skit stretched out far too long. The trailer was actually quite amusing, but then again, the trailer is about a minute long.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 21 minutes, Rated PG-13 for comic violence, crude and sexual humor.

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