141. Kung Fury


I was about 10 minutes through watching Logan Lucky at the AMC 16 in Arcadia when a fire alarm was pulled and everyone had to exit the theater. That left me with a dwindling number of hours to find something else to watch. And with the swampy heat and the increasing unreliability of my air conditioner at home, it was crucial I pick a film that could effectively be reviewed in a time frame comfortable for me and my body temperature. Or in layman’s terms, I wanted to watch somethign short and go to bed because it was too damn hot.

So I chose Kung Fury, a 30-minute romp chock full of 80s imagery and irreverent, time-traveling plot lines. It is a movie that is a complete byproduct of meme culture, a cinematic inside-joke that feels like the brainchild of two former Blockbuster employees who decided to write a script during their lunch breaks at Chipotle. It’s wonderfully silly but in a way that specifically appeals to the sense of humor of movie buffs or nostalgic internet users.

Pretty much, Kung Fury is a kung fu-fighting cop gifted with mystical powers who travels back in time to kill Hitler with the help of a triceratops, a computer hacker, Thor and two viking girls. There’s lots of guns, roundhouse kicks and Nazis getting shot in the balls. The whole thing is coated in pretty much every Photoshop and Premiere filter you can add to a movie, intentionally made to look like a VHS tape that was recorded over too many times.

And it’s great, it really is. It has the perfect amount of self-awareness, campy but not too much, silly but not to the point of exhaustion. It’s a throwback to throwbacks, a well-executed film that looks exactly the way its creators intended. Thirty minutes is the perfect length for something like this, as any more visual sugar might have sent us into diabetic shock. It’ll be interesting to see if the 2018 full-length feature sequel can pull of the same magic. But even if not, this Fury will do.

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