Due to popular demand (one person), here it is:

Some time last year a friend introduced me to a film that would become my favorite live action Chinese movie (and yes, that does mean it has subtitles). That film was writer/director/producer/actor Stephen Chow's "Shaolin Soccer," the movie where a group of brothers and a washed up coach use Kung Fu to play soccer. I was completely blown away by the mixture of corny special effects, comedic timing and just plain badass soccer playing. When I heard that Stephen Chow and the rest of the cast would return in a new movie called "Kung Fu Hustle," I jumped right on it. Little did I know that I would be jumping into something totally different from what I imagined.

In a sentence or two, "Kung Fu Hustle" is a truly original experience that you should not miss. It surpasses its predecessor in every aspect but comedy (yeah, it's funny, but not as funny. Don't worry, it's still by far the superior movie). When I laid my eyes on the opening scene I noticed its unique and colorful set design. It has this fantastical, intangible element to it that truly astounds me for some strange reason. The costume design was also just as radiant to match the set. The characters were some of the most colorful characters to be seen in a live action film, it almost felt like a cartoon or something, for many of the abilities of the characters also gave the movie a Looney Toons vibe. Overall, I felt like I had entered a musical, only it was in Chinese, and there was no singing.

And speaking of singing, the music in this movie was fantastic. It was composed of ancient sounding Chinese music, only orchestrated, and it fits the atmosphere very well, giving the movie a light-hearted feel to it. It only enhanced the movie's overall musical feel.

The special effects were a large step above what "Shaolin Soccer" offered, giving nearly Matrix-quality effects. The coreography of the fighting is also very colorful, comedic and different. Added in with the normal Kung Fu moves are moves that each character has especially for themselves, and it usually squeezed out a "wow" or a chuckle from the audience. The fights are relatively long and entertaining, these aren't just quit shot punch and kicks here.

As far as story goes, I won't spoil any deep details, and only will give a few major plot points. It takes place in a world run by gangs, and the area in the movie is taken over by the "Axe Gang," only one small district manages to embarrass the gang, and as a result, it becomes the gang's main target of destruction. The story here is well-developed, and has both lovable and hatable characters.

With all these good things comes a single bad thing (in my opinion). While the movie is short--about an hour and a half in length--it tended to feel a little drawn out. I think this to be the neverending onslaught of fights, over the top characters, and the want for one to discover the whole story all at once. While this is a criticism, if they had made the movie any different, or any shorter than it is now, I would probably be a little disappointed.

Anyways, I give it 5/5 stars, and my highest recommendation. Buy it, borrow it, see it in theaters, it doesn't matter, you just have to see this movie.