Kung Fury: After being struck by lightning and bitten by a cobra a cop is transformed into a Kung Fu master and swears to protect his city from evil; evil like Adolf Hitler. Not unlike a Zucker brothers comedy, Kung Fury is crammed with a continuous assault of gags – lots hit the mark, some don’t, but the rapid pace doesn’t give you time to dwell on any of them. There are however a couple of big reservations that hit you when watching this: firstly, it all seems overly familiar because the film’s structured like a collage of ‘cool’ scenes, ideas and parodies from lots of great sources – Danger 5 (literally dozens of ideas stolen from this), Iron Sky, Oldboy, MacGruber, Mortal Kombat, ThunderCats, MASK… all of which are welcome, but you’ll have seen elsewhere. Secondly, with the characters being steampunk Nazis, talking animals, Viking babes with machine guns, dinosaurs etc – it feels like box-checking meme-bait: think SuckerPunch distilled into 30 minutes. Aesthetically, it looks beautiful and feels retro – mostly green screen, but all very well done, with seamless editing, and a couple of nostalgic VHS wear / tracking / distortion moments that really play up the 80s setting. There’s no denying that Kung Fury is fun, entertaining, and particularly well-crafted given the CGI-heavy nature – but ultimately it’s let down by a distinct lack of originality content.
You can watch the entire movie on YouTube below
Community (Season 1): after being disbarred a hot-shot lawyer finds himself at Greendale community college, and befriended by a study group of high-level social stereotypes. First off, it’s a great bunch of characters, and this show would be nothing without solid characters. They’re well-drawn, with a range of strengths & flaws, and most impressively, almost every pairing of the 7 mains have a unique relationship which is explored in at least one episode, or hinted at through the season. Troy and Abed’s bromance in particular is great to watch, and although 7 is a weird number, it works well and means there’s lots of material. Expanding the cast further are a great ensemble of supporting characters that keep re-appearing: Dean Pelton being one of the best, but not to forget Starburns, Vaugn, and Senor Chan. After the cast, the biggest strength is the comedy writing; which heaps on loads of dry, fast, witty, sharp lines: because of this, the 20 minute episodes are short, punchy and fun to watch – barring Jack Black’s appearance – and most importantly, they’re very moreish. The only main downside that limits my enjoyment is the continual, heavy, explicit use of parody / meta / tropes / genre clichés that one character in particular (a pop-culture nerd with hints of aspergers) continually explains – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but every time it distances you by shouting “you’re watching a TV”. Abed’s role as a meta bridge and observational/explanatory character is a bizarre one, but he handles it like a boss. The ‘parody‘ element is a strength and a weakness. Best episodes are Goodfellas Chicken Fingers and Paintball (action hero movie) episodes – but they are the least original, and blatant borderline cheesy movie/genre rip-offs! For the amount of raw talent and comedy potential in the cast, and despite being funny, Season 1 does feel soft, polished and a little too safe – but above all else, it shows that the show has major potential.