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Kung Pow! Enter the Fist
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteve Oedekerk
Written bySteve Oedekerk
Produced by
  • Steve Oedekerk
  • Tom Koranda
  • Paul Marshal
Starring
  • Steve Oedekerk
  • Jennifer Tung
  • Leo Lee
CinematographyJohn J. Connor
Edited byPaul Marshal
Music byRobert Folk
Production
company
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • January 25, 2002 (2002-01-25)
Running time
81 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$10 million
Box office$17 million[2]

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 & Crane Fists (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 since become a cult film. A sequel, to be written and directed by Oedekerk, was announced in 2015.[3]

Plot

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 romantic 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 hit him repeatedly with staffs all over his body and groin, then subdues them all in one move. Impressed by Master Pain's skills, the town's mayor hires him, and Master Pain randomly changes his name to Betty. The Chosen One attempts to train himself by letting people hit him with bō staffs, but is knocked out after being hit. When he wakes up, a mysterious one-breasted woman named Whoa warns him not to rush to fight Betty. After flirtily fighting The Chosen One, Whoa flies off into the sky.

Ignoring Whoa's 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. 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 does not 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 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. Discovering 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 sequel, Kung Pow 2: Tongue of Fury, that immediately follows the final scene.

In a post-credits scene, Master Tang, who has been left behind, asks someone to help him from a hungry golden eagle eating his leg.

Cast

Voiced-over characters

In many scenes, Jimmy Wang Yu, the lead actor in Tiger & Crane Fists, was replaced by Oedekerk via post-production chroma key and digital compositing techniques such as head replacement. 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.

Reception

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Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 13% based on 55 reviews, with an average rating of 3.5/10. The site's critics' consensus reads: "A short sketch's worth of jokes stretched into a full-length feature."[4] Metacritic reports an average score of 14 out of 100 based on 14 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike".[5] At the 2002 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, the film was nominated for Worst Picture and tied with The Master of Disguise for a win for Most Painfully Unfunny Comedy.[6]

Kung Pow! Enter the Fist grossed a total of $17 million worldwide on a budget of $10 million. Despite the negative critical reception at release, it has since gained cult status.[7][8]

Sequel

On July 23, 2015, Oedekerk announced he is starting to develop a sequel, but he stressed that as yet he is unsure as to what the plot will entail.[9]

See also

Other movies and TV shows have been created from footage from one or more previous movies and TV shows, adding redubbed dialog, new images, or both. Examples include:

References

  1. ^ "Kung Pow - Enter the Fist". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist (2002)". The Numbers. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  3. ^ Young, Alex (July 23, 2015). "A sequel to Kung Pow: Enter the Fist is in the works". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  4. ^ "Kung Pow! Enter the Fist (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  5. ^ "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  6. ^ "Past Winners Database". The Envelope at LA Times. Archived from the original on August 15, 2007. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  7. ^ Stoic, Christian Michael (March 26, 2020). "'Kung Pow: Enter The Fist' Is A Genuine Cult Comedy Classic". Up Your Geek. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  8. ^ mhofmeyer (August 1, 2016). "From Zoolander to Pootie Tang: The Glorious Cult Classics of 2001-2002". Movies, Films & Flix. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  9. ^ "Steve Oedekerk is working on a Kung Pow: Enter the Fist sequel". flickeringmyth.com. Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.