Sheer absurdity is what makes this film so much fun

January 29, 2002|By Knight Ridder/Tribune

The youthful audience targeted by the martial-arts spoof Kung Pow: Enter the Fist isn't old enough to appreciate why this is such silly, perfect fun, because they never had the pleasure of going to those cheesy kung fu double features in Times Square in the 1970s. But for those of us who did, writer-director-star Steve Oedekerk's romp is a ridiculous delight.

Consider a martial-arts smack-down between the Chosen One (Oedekerk), who is out to avenge the death of his family by the fist of one "Master Pain," and an animated cow in need of a milking.

Oedekerk took a 1976 Hong Kong action flick named Savage Killers and re-edited it in What's Up, Tiger Lily? fashion, adding new footage and dubbed dialogue, to create an entirely different movie that is cheerfully absurd. It's pitch-perfect, right down to clunky camerawork, choppy editing and characters who squeal.

All you have to bring to the theater is a bad-taste '70s frame of mind.

Kung Pow

Rated PG-13 (violence, crudity, sexual humor)

Sun score ***

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