kung fu chefs

The Kung Fu Chef’s screening at the New York Asian film festival in Walter Reade Theatre on June 26th turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise! This film was quite wacky,quacky,quirky, & a complete train wreck filled with action! I loved it! I left the theatre quenching for more…cabbage in clear broth…um..I mean kung fu action! Don’t get me wrong, this movie was no academy award winner, but the over the top story of a comic book style story based on a kung fu fighting master chef that yields a dragon heads butcher knife was quite hilarious. The dialogue and so called english subtitle translation would win no awards for best script, but this is Hong Kong comedy at it’s best.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty of the movie. The cast would contain a core of grisly veterans of kung fu proportions like Sammo Hung, Bruce Leung, & Louis Fan Siu Wong. Taiwanese pop star Vaness Wu who played the young arrogant chef, & the two ladies worthy of eye candy added silly slapstick to the equation. The fight sequences teetered me over to the Jedi side as opposed to the dark side of sheer silliness. Sammo vs Bruce Leung, Sammo vs Louis Fan Siu Wong, Sammo vs Chef Ken, Sammo vs the sashimi, Sammo vs pig…had won me over to no end! Oh, did I also tell you Sammo’s son, Timmy Hung is in the movie? Timmy gets a severe beat down from papa Hung in full chinese banquet glory! The film is about Master Chef, Wong Ping Yee played by Sammo who saves a chinese banquet because one of his sous chefs burns a hunk of pork meat. Sammo proceeds to butcher a whole swine with one big swoop of the magical Dragon Head’s butcher cleaver!(Great scene by the way). The pork is then tenderly cooked & the banquet, subsequently has been saved! Little did the master chef know but his Chef nephew played by Louis Fan Siu Wong had poisoned the pork meat in order to frame his Uncle. The nephew still harbors disgust for his uncle because of an injury that was sustained to his dad’s arm from a cooking competition with the Uncle which promptly forced his dad to give up the Executive Chef title in his village. Sammo Hung is then ousted from the village as head chef due to being framed by his nephew. Chef Wong Ping Yee’s new life begins when he enters the two young ladies restaurant for lunch. Chef Wong is not impressed after trying a simple Sichuan dish called cabbage in clear broth. He also meets the arrogant Chef Ken while dining who he will mentor in the times to come. The first chef battle begins with Master Wong pitted against the Executive Chef of the young ladies restaurant. Wong masterfully sweeps the other chef to the side prompting the chef to lose face & jump ship. The chef games begin when Master Wong Ping Yee takes the reigns of this new restaurant along with his new prodigy, Chef Ken! Ken-San & Sammo soon have a blade off, comparing fresh sashimi cuts. However,Ken is no match for Sammo’s, cold blade ginsu cuts of fresh fish! School is now officially in session when the “Plump one” trains the young Jedi! Soon thereafter, fist a cuffs are in order with Sammo vs Louis Fan Siu Wong & the choreography was sheer amazing with a Birdseye camera shot of sweeps,roundhouse,front heel kicks, & Sammo’s classic reverse sidekick till no end! The rest of the fight scenes involving Sammo vs Bruce Leung, Fan Siu Wong vs Chef Ken are additional butter added to the ‘au ju’ gravy! The fight scenes in this movie were raw & dynamic! Exactly what the Kung Fu Doctor called for! There is a cooking finale that will involve one dish from the jungles of Sichuan province,China, yes you guessed it…Cabbage in clear broth! And yes, the Dragon Head’s butcher knife will reveal itself again!

Listen folks, I’m not saying this is a great movie & probably to the contrary, but it surely was entertaining at that especially seeing it on the big screen with surround sound! I’m also not saying that you should shell out big bucks to watch this at Sony Imax but, if you want to be entertained with food & some heavy duty fight scenes between 2 great onscreen fighters like Sammo Hung & Louis Fan Siu Wong, you can’t do any better! It is definitely worthy of a Yesasia.com or hkflix.com purchase especially if you are a Sammo Hung Gum Bo & Louis Fan Siu Wong fan!

–Mr. C (5 out of 10 cabbage in clear broths,sichuan style!)

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