Kung Fu Hustle: a Spoof of Eastern and Western Cultures

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What do you get when you mix American culture from the 40's and Chinese culture? The answer to this question is Stephen Chow's film Kung Fu Hustle (2005). In this motion picture, there are clearly aspects of not only physical comedy but also a comedic spoof of both Chinese and American cultures. Being a Chinese film, it is obvious that there would be an eastern cultural influence, but throughout the film there are many instances where American culture is present. Whether it is the wardrobe, characters, or even the settings, there is a great deal of American influence in Chow's movie.

One of the scenes that provides a vivid picture of the American influence in the motion picture is the opening sequence. Here the viewer sees a gang inside the police station hassling some of the deputies and the commissioner. The leader of the gang is shown beating up the chief of police and having his way with the law. Essentially this is a common characteristic of American films that include gangs, especially the mafia. In movies such as Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972) or Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas (1990), the audience is presented with men who are part of the mafia or mob, respectively, and are seen roughing up police or having control over the police chief. Gangs require this control in order to run their illegal operations without having police interfere with their business. Likewise, the men from these movies show overprotective qualities toward their respective women, which is exactly how the gang leader in Kung Fu Hustle reacts to the treatment of his mistress. The reactions of the gang leader coincide with those found in American films about the mafia.

Another important factor within this sequence is when the gang heads outside and encounters a sound. When the sound gets closer, they realize it is a rival gang marching toward them. The Axe gang, as they are introduced, surrounds them on all sides of the intersection. What is important...
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