By Jack Holmes
Studio intervention has doomed so many potentially iconic movies by filling them with obvious narrative choices, minimising any risks taken with the films simply to maximise profits. Kung Fury, however, is a Swedish martial arts comedy entirely funded by fans through Crowdfunding, therefore leaving director David Sandberg free to explore just about any artistic direction.
The $630,000 raised was put to excellent use with this martial arts epic following hero Kung Fury as he sets out to defeat the greatest Kung Fu criminal of all, Hitler. From hacking through time, riding T-Rexes, firing pistols through phone lines and battling living arcade machines, the movie doesn’t ever seem willing to back down or pull punches. It’s all out from start to finish.
With a cast including Jorma Taccone, one of The Lonely Island members and a cameo and soundtrack from David Hasselhoff (yes, you did read that right), there’s never long to wait between “What the hell?” moments.
It’s clear that the movie was made on a low budget, but it also exhibits a 1980s police and martial arts film feel, meaning the corny CGI tricks feel like they add to the film, rather than take anything away. There’s definitely no aspect of Kung Fury that’s trying to make you believe it’s in any way realistic.
With a relatively short run time, it’s easy to feel like a longer version may have become a more stale affair. Although perhaps the creators would simply find new ways to hold the attention of an audience expecting nothing short of a freight train of retro kung fu fun. With a sequel recently confirmed, we might not have too long to wait to find out but, in the meantime, Kung Fury works wonders as a simple, entertaining piece of film, made by the people, for the people.