Every person one day gets to an age where what they loved as cool and new in their formative years becomes retro cool. While I’m not ready to see guys walking around in white suits over pastel t-shirts and espadrilles, there was something about the ’80s that still looks cool.
Enter Kung Fury.
[Warning: there could be minor spoilers here, but I’ll try to keep references to things you’d see in the trailer or music video anyway.]
1. Wait, Kung Fury? What the heck is a Kung Fury? KF (to make it easier to repeat) is a short film, just 30 minutes long, that was financed via Kickstarter. It is an homage to (not necessarily in order of importance): ’80s cop shows, Kung Fu movies, barbarian epics, side-scrolling video games, sci-fi/time-travel, computers, and David Hasselhoff.
2. David Hasselhoff? You’re kidding, right? You just added that to make sure we were reading everything! Nope, the Hoff is here. I won’t spoil his small, but important role in the movie, but more importantly he does the key song, True Survivor, which itself is an homage. Take a moment to watch the music video:
3. Okay, I’m getting a vibe here; is it a send-up? A joke? No, as I said, it’s an homage, with a lot of humor. It just piles on the tropes of all those genres of entertainment, and turns them up to 11 with great effect.
4. But if it’s that ’80s-centric, will my kids enjoy it? Well, here’s the thing: it all depends upon your kids. It’s not for younger kids, first of all, because there is a liberal use of a certain ‘bomb’ that sits between E and G, and some graphic (but not gruesome, per se) violence. Second, your kids would need to have had at least a rudimentary grounding in the great works of ’80s cinema. The great works of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Snipes.
5. You mentioned side-scrolling video games. Please don’t say it’s like that horrible Prince of Persia thing? Oh, no, no, no. All I meant is that there is one action scene that is, bascially, a side-scrolling videogame brought to life. It’s delightful in every way you can imagine.
6. What about the Kung Fu? Is it a good martial arts movie? Umm… it’s very hard to categorize it soley as a martial arts flick, what with the gun battles, robot rampages, and dinosaurs. As suggested above, it’s more of an homage to martial arts flicks, but in the best ways.
7. Fine. I’m curious. But it has to have a good villain. Who’s the villain? Hitler.
8. Hitler? Yeah, Hitler. Time-traveling, Kung-Fu Hitler.
9. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! You’re saying this movie has a time-traveling Kung-Fu Hilter, dinosaurs, side-scrolling videogame fight scenes, with an ’80s aesthetic? And barbarians. You forgot the barbarians.
10. Sold. Where can I see it? For just $5 you can have your very own wonderful copy of this amazing work of cinematic genius. Find it here, at the Kung Fury website.
With all that said, I’ll add just this: our family (including teens aged 15 and 16) watched this tonight and had a BLAST. The teens were declaring it the best thing they’d seen this year. Now that’s a helluva review.