Reviewed by GREG KING

Director: Steve Oederkerk

In 1966, Woody Allen, who was then still a stand up comic and script writer of repute, took a B-grade Japanese spy comedy and redubbed it with plenty of clever one-liners and a new plot, giving us What’s Up Tiger Lily? Now, writer/director Steve Oedekerk (Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, etc) follows a similar formula with his deliberately dumb, fitfully funny comedy Kung Pow: Enter The Fist.

Oedekerk viewed hundreds of forgettable B-grade Chinese martial arts film from the 1970’s to find the dire Tiger & Crane Fists, which he has redubbed with new dialogue and reedited to give it a whole new nonsensical plot. Using the latest computer generated technology, Oedekerk even inserts himself into the action as a wandering warrior seeking vengeance against Master Pain, the war lord who killed his family years ago.

The plot is still as meaningless as it was back then, but Oedekerk’s reinvention of the film plays as a clever send up of the unintentionally funny style of that whole genre. Dogs bark, and the sound appears several seconds later, and fights take place in random, scenic locations for no apparent reason. Oedekerk has also added new sequences, including a kung-fu fighting baby and, in an udderly unbelievable scene that is one of the film’s best moments, a martial arts cow, which briefly liven up proceedings.

But there are also a couple of contemporary touches, including rap music played over the fight sequences, a large one breasted woman named Whoa, and the obligatory Matrix spoof (indeed, any comedy worth its salt these days includes a send-up of a couple of key images from that film!)

The dialogue is basically inane and lacks the cleverness and genuine wit of Allen’s thirty-year-old film. Nonetheless the whole thing is so silly that it manages to provide a few laughs along the way. But overall Kung Pow: Enter The Fist is the sort of film that will appeal to easily pleased, undemanding young adolescent males.



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