Kung Pow: Enter the Fist (2002)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Parody/Spoof  |   Release Date - Jan 25, 2002 (USA)  |   Run Time - 82 min.  |   Countries - Hong Kong, United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Derek Armstrong

Kung Pow: Enter the Fist would be no less clever if an irritating 12-year-old boy were improvising its dialogue, rather than an experienced Hollywood writer. Yes, it's terrible, but anyone who coughs out surprised laughter shouldn't be ashamed -- ridiculously obvious jokes can be fun, if a person is slaphappy enough. Kung Pow: Enter the Fist isn't a fifth as rewarding as its sources of inspiration, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily?, but a viewer doesn't have to be brain dead to find humor in it, either. The best excuse for its existence, on a business level, is that it cost almost nothing to make. With Steve Oedekerk providing all the voices and essentially all the new footage, and all of that shot on a soundstage using blue screens to insert him into the film, almost any box-office take made it worth the investment for 20th Century Fox. Whether viewers will want to invest their own nine dollars is another matter. Oedekerk's voice-overs are all silly noises and cartoon accents, as though Miss Piggy and Gonzo were dubbing the dialogue -- a juvenile approach totally at odds with Tiger Lily's subtler, more sublime (and funnier) line readings. Still, it's hard to imagine not laughing, however accidentally, at some of it, even if it takes until the closing-credit outtakes, which include "flubbed lines" from the original cast among other mildly diverting bits. High brow it's not, but viewers who can't recognize this from the ads have only themselves to blame.