Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Kung Pow: Enter the Fist

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for comic violence, crude and sexual humor

Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
STAFF WRITER

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Martial-Arts Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 21 min.
Year of Release:
2002
Steve Oedekerk in “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist”

Starring: Steve Oedekerk, Jennifer Tung, Tad Horino, Philip Tan, Leo Lee | Directed by: Steve Oedekerk | Produced by: Steve Oedekerk, Tom Koranda, Paul Marshal | Written by: Steve Oedekerk | Distributor: 20th Century Fox

A parody on Martial Arts films could be funny. The gracefulness of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” replaced with pure klutziness, could provide fodder for the funnybone. The endless list of martial arts moves in “Iron Monkey” certainly begs for an entertaining laugh. I can still remember the first “Godzilla” film and my observation of the badly dubbed English dialogue. How could you miss it—often the vocals did not even come close to matching the movement of the actor’s mouths.

Director, Steve Oedekerk, certainly has plenty of material to draw from, and he’s no stranger to the comedy genre. His directing credits include “The Nutty Professor” and “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.”

In “Kung Pow”, Steve not only puts his reputation as a director on the line, but as an actor as well. It’s too bad that this film is so bad! If that was Steve’s aspiration, then he succeeded. While I didn’t place it at the top of my list for “worst film I’ve ever seen,” it certainly is in my top five.

You just know a film is in trouble when only 3% of the national film critics liked “Kung Pow”. Many reputable critics, like Roger Ebert, didn’t even bother giving it a review. Who can blame him?

Mr. Oedekerk has dubbed himself into a 1976 film called “Tiger and Crane Fists”. His character is “The Chosen One.” We witness the murder of his young parents when he is just a baby. The Chosen One then embarks on a quest to find the evil villain “Master Pain” (Lung Fai). The unique “Tonguey” assists the Chosen One on his journey, finding himself always under attack because of his “chosen” status. (Poor guy). Will The Chosen One be able to find Master Pain—will he find the strength and the moves to defeat his opponent—will Steve really make a sequel to this terrible film?

The difficult part of seeing this flic was getting the motivation to even give it a review. Some teens may be tempted to give this a shot after seeing the cute trailer. It’s obvious that there is yet another “Matrix” spoof present (during a battle with a cow). The trailers also showed The Chosen One punching a perfect hole out of the center of a victim. But if you’ve seen these scenes, you’ve already seen the best parts of the film.

My extremely strong advise is to skip this loser. It certainly earns the PG-13 rating and I would not send my unsuspecting teen to this one. The sexual innuendos have Master Pain preferring to be called “Betty” while, in another scene, a group of students chant while practicing their moves: “Our sexual preferences are our own business.” There is plenty of blood, profanity, offensive expletives, more sexual innuendos, and a woman that repeatedly flashes our hero. Much of this is filtered through Steve’s idea of a comedy, but I’m not laughing.

Most of the material in this film… I found “udderly” (pun intended) ridiculous.

Viewer Comments
Neutral—I would recommend that if you’re going to go and see this movie then get yourself into a goofy mood. I was in such a mood and laughed myself silly. If you’re not in a mood to laugh at “udderly” stupid jokes then you will not enjoy it. Approach Kung Pow with an open “comedic” mind and you might enjoy it. No guarantees. Be aware of brief suggested sexual content.
My Ratings: [Average / 2½]
—Andrew Mack, age 28
Negative—The cow in Kung Pow is the true hero. If there is a clip of the cow fight on the net, just watch that instead.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 1]
—Mang Yang, age 29
Negative—This movie [stunk]. If I was a Buddhist I would be very offended. The plot was stupid and it would offend both Christians and Buddhists alike.
My Ratings: [Average / 2½]
—Magna Man, age 20
Negative—I think this was one of the dumbest movies I have ever seen in my life. I was born and raised on kung fu movies and went expecting to see something that was either funny or had at least one or two good fighting scenes. Sadly though, I got neither. The movie was funny for about the first five minutes and then just got very annoying, very quickly. I wouldn’t even recommend renting the video, much less paying to see it in the theater.
My Ratings: [Average / 1]
—Frank, age 33
Negative—Thank goodness this movie is very short! It is by far the worst movie out right now. I probably shouldn’t have let this follow movies such as Black Hawk Down, A Beautiful Mind, and Lord of the Rings. If you have seen these, this movie is not for you. I recommend A Walk To Remember or the above movies.
My Ratings: [Average / 1]
—Jim Sharp, age 29
Neutral—The movie was funny at the beginning, as the other reviewer said, but boring about 30 min into the movie. My recommendation, save your money and time by not seeing it.
My Ratings: [Average / 2]
—Jim Sharp, age 29
Positive—I personally thought this movie was hilarious. I was able to take my 10 year old brother to it, and he loved it. It is definitely a movie for the young at heart. It did get a little repetitive after a while, but it added a nice touch I think. I suggest this movie to anyone who just wants to take the family to a fun movie.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 2]
—Tony, age 20
Negative—Kung Pow was funny at the very beginning, but then it became redundant and boring… same ole’ kung fu stuff over and over and over and over again. Know what I mean? Some things were very VERY obscene too. I recommend, if you like this type of spoofy movie, making it a rental.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 1½]
—Amy, age 30
Comments from young people
Positive—If you like stupid humor, you’ll love this movie. If you don’t like stupid humor, than don’t waste your time on going to get the ticket! It is stupid humor all out! I LOVE stupid humor and right now, this is my favorite comedy. Its language, is quite mild, with some minor A, H, and some D. But mostly its PG-13 because of some sexual humor. (A lady keeps taking off and putting on her dress over and over for two minutes. But no nudity at all. All you see is her back and hair.) Other than that, its a GREAT stupid humor comedy.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—Davie Powers, age 14
Neutral—This was probably one of the stupidest movies I’ve ever seen. In some parts it was funny, but the rest was very corny. I liked most of the humor, but it was NOT worth seeing again. I laughed really hard at the funny parts. A one-breasted movie could be seen as offensive, a girl takes her robe off exposing her back on, and the guy mentions sex. I don’t really remember much cussing. There is some blood. You should see something like A Beautiful mind before this.
My Ratings: [Average / 2½]
—Blake Wolf, age 14
Negative—This is a racist movie! Chinese and Asians are made fun of. The issue is not that Asians cannot laugh at themselves but that Hollywood is trying once again to revive the perpetual foreigner stereotype. Don’t watch this movie!!!
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1]
—yellowgirl, age 15