The 80s, a time when you could afford to have stupid hair or lots of bling. A time when looking cool involved you taking everything out of your closet and haphazardly draping it across your body. I’ve seen many parodies of the 80s and one that I was a little mixed on was the recent short film “Kung Fury”. This film was made on a Kickstarter budget, has amazing effects, a crazy story and some fairly solid acting.
Kung Fury tells the story of a cop named “Kung Fury” who is also a martial arts chosen one. After defeating an evil arcade machine robot, Hitler travels through time and attempts to assassinate Kung Fury. Kung Fury decides to travel back in time with help of a hacker who is so good at what he does that he can break the very laws of physics and bring people back to life. Sounds insane? Good, because it’s supposed to be and Kung Fury does its best to revel in its own insanity.
Why my feelings are mixed on Kung Fury isn’t because of the insane plot, it’s because it feels like something I’ve seen many times before. 80s parodies are all too common and Kung Fury’s style of humor and insanity reminded me a lot of Adult Swim’s offerings. This isn’t an entirely bad thing as I do enjoy Adult Swim’s content from time to time. The thing is that Kung Fury uses way too many 80s tropes to the point where I had a feeling of Deja Vu the whole way through.
That’s not to say Kung Fury didn’t have some unexpected moments. In fact, I think the film really shined in scenes that aren’t as laden with 80s references. I especially liked the part where Kung Fury traveled back in time to the “Viking Age” which was full of scantily barbarian princesses riding wolves while wielding machine guns and shooting at “Laser Raptors”. That being said, I was still annoyed by scenes that parody 80s cliches in the same way that almost every other parody has. Like the obligatory “You’re like a father to me moment” where the main character loses someone he loves and then screams “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” To me, that doesn’t really create an engaging experience.
Just because I don’t love the movie doesn’t mean I don’t like it. It’s a solid experience and Jorma from The Lonely Island did a good job as Hitler. And the song David Hasselhoff sung for the movie was truly spectacular, it was a very good soon that perfectly encapsulated an entire decade of music in one fell swoop. I’ve seen a ton of spectacular short films such as “Hulk Vs. Wolverine” and “Reversal Of The Heart”. I don’t really think this measures up to those films, but it was still enjoyable nonetheless. I have watched Kung Fury 4 to 5 times now, so it’s definitely got that pull keeps bringing me back. All in all, I gotta say that while Kung Fury didn’t wow me, it certainly did wet my whistle. If they made a sequel to it, I would definitely give it a look-see.