It was a double dose of Asian comedy tonight. First up the 1993 Jackie Chan action comedy City Hunter. Jackie plays a private detective in this Wong Jing adaptation of a Japanese comic. I have seen this movie many times and I really have a good time watching it. There's a lot of good and bad comedy, and much punching. Good fights with some good villians. While the opening of the movie was causing some consternation to some of our viewers, and I can see why, Joe and I were re-enjoying a movie both of us had seen many times. The opening introduction to the world of Ryu is a pretty broad bit of comedy, but after the characters are established, and everyone's on the boat, everything turns a different shade of funny. Blood burst death funny. Ryu was hired to find the runaway daughter of a rich business guy. She takes a cruise and Ryu plays the stowaway game by disguising himself as a piece of luggage.
Jackie's character Ryu Saeba is a bit of a letch and a girl chaser. He doesn't want to settle down with one girl, he wants a little bit of all of them. And there are many beautiful ladies in the movie, many in tiny little costumes, like Chingmy Yau to the right. Also on the ship are a bunch of robbers and kidnappers. In their matching red outfits the bad boys hold up the ship and shoot people pretty much for snoring to loud. Richard Norton plays the delightfully evil leader of the over the top villians. He lines up some of passengers and forces them to play games of baccarat with him while his men rob the rest. If you win, you play another hand. If you lose, Richard shots you in the head with his big ass gun. They aren't a nice bunch. There are lots of fights and shooting, some more serious than others. The death count is pretty high even for a Hong Kong comedy. I like that unapologetic mix of genres in Chinese movies. On the way over to Movie Night I heard Guillermo del Toro on MPR talking about his new movie El Laberinto del Fauno. He talked about mixing the genre's in his films and that being a Mexican thing. He really shares that with many other people. I learned to like genre blended movies by being exposed to them over time. I now seems like a natural thing for film to cross boundries.
Joe brought the copy we watched, the Fox US version at about 99 minutes. I have a copy of it myself and three others. All from different places and all different lengths. Wong Jing is the king of "makes-no-sense" comedies in Hong Kong. He's directed 114 movies and there are some great ones there. God of Gamblers, God of Gamblers' Return, High Risk, The Kung Fu Cult Master, The New Legend of Shaolin, My Father Is a Hero, and The Duel are all fun to watch. He worked with Jet Li several times, only this one time with Jackie. You can see a clip of the Street Fighter parody at YouTube.
Our second feature was Kung Phooey! It's a parody of Kung Fu produced, written and directed by the actor Darryl Fong. It's pretty fun, some good jokes and some bad jokes and lots of them. Art Chew, a monk from the Shur Li Temple, comes to San Francisco to find the long hidden magical peach. It was stolen from the temple 500 years ago. It's hidden in the resturant of Helen Hu. She's got henchmen and ambition. Her character is a favorite of mine, wonderfully over the top, she's a delightful bad girl. There are so many jokes of all kinds. Movie jokes, Chinese jokes, black jokes, stunt jokes, slapstick jokes, and many of each. The bad guys are defeated and the good guys win. The fights aren't too good but that works in the movies favor. It's just like watching Kung Fu the TV series, those fights weren't very good either. Amazingly, you can see the what might be the whole movie on YouTube.