Making the Grades
I ALWAYS WORRY WHEN ONE person plays three prominent roles in the production of a film (i.e. writer, director and leading man). Even I know that a good editor can save you from doing things you'll live to regret. In the case of Kung Pow: Enter The Fist, some outside intervention may have been a good thing for all of us.
Meshing footage from the 1977 movie, Savage Killers with shots of himself and computer-generated clips of a talking tongue and kung fu cow, Steve Oederkerk gives us a story as laborious and painful to watch as his characters' death scenes.
As a mere infant, the Chosen One (Oederkerk) loses his parents to the diabolical Master Pain (Lung Fai) who stabs the child's father and burns the family's hut to the ground. After escaping death by the narrowest of margins, the baby boy is raised by rodents until he is ready to avenge the loss and bring justice to the wicked martial arts legend that now goes by the name of Betty.
During his quest, he meets up with a whiny kung fu student, an indecisive love interest who doesn't want to be misconstrued as having loose morals and Woah (Jennifer Tung), a mono-breasted superwoman that warns him of danger.
While Oederkerk's intentions seem to be spoofing films such as The Matrix, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and even The Lion King, the comedic value of his parody is lost in the volume of crude jokes, sexual humor, and mirthless cartoon violence. Lacking any artistic value, the fighting scenes are reduced to mere beatings with long sticks and a claw-like weapon that mangles its victims. Blood is smeared on the injured bodies of several warriors and squirts from a severed toe and wounded chest. Another disturbing sequence shows a man's hands doused in gas and lit on fire. (And this is supposed to be funny?)
With writing credits for the kids' film, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius under his belt, Oederkerk might want to consider losing the black toupee and sticking with one movie role at a time.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Kung Pow: Enter The Fist.
Kung Pow: Enter The Fist steals scenes from more films than just the martial arts genre. What other movie scenes can you pick out? Do you think the spoofing in this film is a creative move or just script robbery? Shrek and Galaxy Quest are two spoofs we can recommend.