Dumb but fun, "Kung Fu Hip Hop" is "Breakin'," contempo Beijing-style.
Dumb but fun, “Kung Fu Hip Hop” is “Breakin’,” contempo Beijing-style. China’s first musical youth movie (made with plenty of Hong Kong help), this tale of a rural martial artist who takes part in a dance competition to pay for his sister’s eye op has a shameless energy that should work with Asiaphile auds. Pic predictably tanked in Hong Kong this summer but opened better in China.
Back-of-a-coaster plot has street hawker Chu Dong (Hong Kong’s Jordan Chan) teaming with DJ Tina (mainland glamour-puss Fan Bingbing) and his garage mechanic pals to form Kung Fu Kids. They take on a rival team, led by blond-haired Zhong Shaoxiong (South Korean breakdancer “Poppin’ ” Nam Hyun-joon), that’s supported by crooked club boss Quan (Allan Wu). Snappy helming by TV director Fu Huayang, neat choreography (Ice Cream), martial arts (Liu Zhihao) and lensing (Hong Kong’s Andy Kwong) form a pro tech package. Chan gets by on his usual blank charm, Fan looks like she’s just stepped off a model runway, and Shaw Bros. action vet Chen Kuan-tai makes a nostalgic guest appearance. Chinese title is a pun on Bruce Lee’s “Fist of Fury.”