Kung Pow! Enter the Fist
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|Kung Pow! Enter the Fist|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Steve Oedekerk|
|Written by||Steve Oedekerk|
|Music by||Robert Folk|
|Cinematography||John J. Connor|
|Edited by||Paul Marshal|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$17 million|
Kung Pow! Enter the Fist is a 2002 American martial arts comedy film that parodies Hong Kong action cinema. Written, directed by and starring Steve Oedekerk, it uses footage from the 1976 Hong Kong martial arts film Tiger and Crane Fist (also called Savage Killers), along with new footage shot by Oedekerk, to create an original, unrelated plot.
The film was a moderate box office success, grossing $17 million worldwide, and received largely negative critical reviews but has become a cult film. A sequel, to be written and directed by Oedekerk, has been announced.
A man, called The Chosen One by the narrator, wanders from town to town to search for the man who killed his family and tried to kill him when he was a baby. In one town, he meets Master Tang, a very ill and slightly deranged sifu, and asks Tang to help him improve his already impressive martial arts ability. Master Tang is skeptical at first, but after seeing The Chosen One's mark (his sentient tongue, which he names Tonguey), he allows him to train at his dojo. The Chosen One is introduced to two other students: Wimp Lo, a young man who was deliberately trained incorrectly as a joke, and Ling, who has feelings for him.
While training, The Chosen One shows cartoon-like feats of strength, and Wimp Lo deems him an enemy out of jealousy. Upon learning that Master Pain, the man who killed his parents, has just arrived in town, The Chosen One prepares to confront him. Master Pain draws a crowd and demonstrates his skills. He lets his henchmen kick him repeatedly in the groin, then subdues them all in one move. Impressed by Master Pain's skills, the town's mayor hires him, and he randomly changes his name to Betty. The Chosen One attempts to train himself by letting people kick him in the groin, but is knocked out after being hit. When he wakes up, a mysterious woman named Whoa warns him not to rush to fight Betty. After flirtily fighting The Chosen One, Whoa flies off into the sky.
Ignoring the advice, The Chosen One sets off to find Betty. He comes across one of Betty's evil companions: Moo Nieu (pronounced "moon you"), a Holstein cow gifted in karate, with a large udder that can squirt milk as a weapon. They fight in a scene parodying The Matrix, and The Chosen One eventually incapacitates Moo Nieu by milking her until her udder is empty. He sees Betty at a waterfall and confronts him. Master Doe, Ling's Father, shows up and tries to stop the unprepared Chosen One, and is wounded by Betty. The Chosen One takes Master Doe to Master Tang; it turns out they are old friends. However, as Tang massages Doe's wound, it doesn't close and Doe dies that night. Out of depression, Ling confesses her feelings for The Chosen One.
Confused, The Chosen One journeys out to a field and consults the heavens for confidence. Suddenly Mu-Shu Fasa, a large sentient lion, appears in the sky and dispenses advice in a scene parodying a portion of The Lion King. He returns to town and finds that Betty's hostility has expanded to the entire town, and they are killing anyone who may be his allies. He finds Wimp Lo, Ling, Master Tang and even his Dog heavily maimed. However, except for Lo, they all survive. After taking Ling and his dog to safety, The Chosen One begins training himself. Believing Betty's weak points are the pyramid spikes embedded in his chest, The Chosen One makes wooden dummies, embeds similar spikes onto their chests and attempts to pluck them out with his bare hands. His hands are battered and he is exhausted, but after Ling treats his wounds and gives an inspiring speech, he finds himself rejuvenated and successfully pulls off the attack.
Meanwhile, Betty is called by the mysterious Evil Council and learns that The Chosen One is alive. The Chosen One confronts Betty at the temple. They fight evenly, until the Evil Council shows up revealing themselves to be French aliens, and gives Betty supernatural powers. Betty viciously beats up The Chosen One, who, in a semi-unconscious state, sees visions of Whoa and Mu-Shu Fasa giving him advice. Mu-Shu instructs him to open his mouth. As soon as he does, Tonguey flies out and attacks and destroys the mother ship, causing the entire Evil Council armada to panic and retreat, leaving Betty vulnerable. The Chosen One eventually rips the pyramid spikes out of Betty's chest, killing him. As The Chosen One returns home with Ling, his tribulations are far from over, as presented in a trailer for a fictional sequel, Kung Pow 2: Tongue of Fury, that immediately follows the final scene.
- Steve Oedekerk – The Chosen One
- Jimmy Wang Yu (archival footage)
- Alejandro Olazabal – The Chosen One as a baby
- Hui Lou Chen – Master Tang
- Fei Lung – Master Pain aka "Betty"
- Leo Lee – Young Master Pain
- Ling Ling Tse – Ling
- Lin Yan – Dying Ling
- Lau Kar-wing – Wimp Lo
- Banjo – Dog
- Jennifer Tung – Whoa
- Chi Ma – Master Doe
- Tad Horino – Chew Fat Lip
- Nasty Nes – Boombox Henchman
- Ming Lo – Father
- Peggy Lu – Mother
- Tori Tran – Peasant Woman
- Simon Rhee – Young Master Pain's Henchman
In many scenes, Jimmy Wang Yu, the lead actor in Tiger and Crane Fist, was replaced by Oedekerk via post-production chroma key techniques. Oedekerk also re-dubbed all of the original cast's voices himself, inventing a different voice for every character. The only exception is the character of "Whoa", who was voiced by her actress, Jennifer Tung. During filming of their scenes, Oedekerk and Tung spoke nonsensical lines, which were later re-dubbed with the correct lines from the script, in order to maintain the appearance of poorly-dubbed foreign language consistent with the rest of the film.
DVD special features
- Deleted scenes
- Directors commentary
- Alternate audio tracks, including the "What They Are Really Saying" track, which includes the original Chinese and the speech Oedekerk uses to parody the bad dubbing in old kung-fu movies. Another notable audio choice is 'Book on Tape' where all the lines are read by a calm British narrator.
- Alternate ending featuring Betty in a speedo singing the Kung Pow theme song.
- Making-of featurette
- "Tonguey Tribute" featurette
Kung Pow! Enter the Fist received an 11% 'rotten' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as an average score 14 out of 100 on Metacritic. Despite this, the movie has garnered a strong cult following, receiving a positive reaction from viewers because of its camp style and silly, over-the-top humor and its lampooning of the traditionally poorly dubbed English releases of Hong Kong kung fu films which themselves have a strong cult following. Its Metacritic user review page has an average score of 8.8 (out of 10). Kung Pow! Enter the Fist was a moderate financial success, grossing a total of $16,994,625 worldwide, with a budget of $10,000,000.
In 2015, it was announced that a sequel is currently in the works with Oedekerk returning to write and direct.
Other movies have been created from footage from one or more previous movies, adding redubbed dialog, new images, or both. Examples include:
- What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
- Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)
- Hercules Returns (1993)
- La Classe américaine (1993)
- Kung Faux (television series, 2004–present)
- MXC (television game show based on footage sourced from Takeshi's Castle, 2003–2007)
- Power Rangers (television series, 1993–present)
- Mad Movies With the LA Connection (television series, 1985)
- "Kung Pow - Enter the Fist". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
- "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist (2002)". The Numbers. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
- "Kung Pow! Movie Reviews". RottenTomatoes.com. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
- "Critic Reviews for Kung Pow: Enter the Fist". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
- "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist – User Reviews". Metacritic.com. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- "Steve Oedekerk is working on a Kung Pow: Enter the Fist sequel". Retrieved December 21, 2016.
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