Kung Pow: Enter the Fist [2002]

Kung Pow! Enter the Fist is best enjoyed with low expectations, if only because it might surprise you with genuine belly laughs. Writer-director Steve Oedekerk uses digital trickery to make himself a costar in the 1976 Hong Kong action flick Tiger & Crane Fist, just as Woody Allen turned a Japanese spy thriller into the comedy spoof What's Up, Tiger Lily? The results are both technically impressive and stupendously stupid. Oedekerk is blandly appealing as "the Chosen One," who sets out to avenge the evil Master "Betty" Pain for killing his family when he was still a kung fu-fighting infant. This stock setup is a cheap excuse for Oedekerk's 80-minute buffet of chop-socky spoofery, with gags lifted from The Matrix, Oedekerk's "Thumbation" comedies, and the rich legacy of Hong Kong action. Featuring "gopher-chucks," a kung fu cow, aliens from France, and enough bad dialogue to choke a crouching tiger, Kung Pow! is mildly spicy, but mostly it's full of nuts. --Jeff Shannon

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