Saturday, May 30, 2015

Film Review: Kung Fury (2015)

Copyright: Laser Unicorns
Like all great plagues in history, the 80’s nostalgia was also gaining strength unseen and hidden, sprawling in the corners of the public collective consciousness. It started with the demonic resurgence of pixel art, a form of visual design that people in the gaming industry happily buried more than two decades ago. This spread to VHS tapes, vintage computers and many other things which are now cool as cucumbers only because the generation that grew up in that period (like me) entered their fourth decade and is prepared to pay money to see more of this falsely golden decade. But like Mary Schmich remarked long ago, nostalgia is essentially a process of recycling that turns old memories into overpriced notions which we cherish.

Kung Fury is a half an hour of 80’s roller-coaster of action and comedy, but it’s not a cheap trick to get money out of the pockets of the Millennials and X generations (not completely, at least). In the film, the viewers are bombarded with colors and action scenes, making the film something similar to a 12-year-old boy’s dream that took place somewhere in 1987. There is a loose plot, where the main character goes through an epic adventure involving porno-looking Viking female warriors, Hitler and hacking time, but watching Kung Fury is mostly about the laughs. Using some true kung fu wisdom, the creators of Kung Fury decided to steer clear of long dialogue or verbal humor, apart from several 80’s puns and instead focused on the slapstick elements, some of which are really brilliant (shooting through the phone connection, for example).

During its crowdfunding campaign, the film promised a joy ride colored in the tones of a none-existed era of Regan on LSD and definitely delivered the same. Like Blue Ruin, it shows that this system of gathering money really can produce very successful films, both from an art and business perspective.  For me, the great thing about the film is how its director David Sandberg compacted it into a run-time that is neither long nor short. I believe that this is the ideal length for the future genre of YouTube feature films (along with a brand new production and financing model) and I’m very much looking forward to those movies.

Watch the complete Kung Fury right here.

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