Kung Fury Review: It’s Your New Favorite Movie
Time to tie on your blood-soaked headband and shoot open your car door; Laser Unicorn’s crowdfunded eighties-styled action parody Kung Fury is ripping up YouTube. Already the short film has almost 20 million views and thumbs up outnumber the thumbs wrong by about 60 to 1. Just what makes this movie so incredible?
If you caught my written spasm of pleasure over the power anthem music video a few months ago then you know I was looking forward to this like a kid in 1985 was looking forward to Ninja Turtles and Transformers on Saturday morning. I mean, my exact words were that the Kung Fury movie was a “miracle” and that it was “unvarnished and pure.” Did I speak too soon? Technically, maybe. But guess what, I don’t have to apologize for nothin’, because this movie works over the pleasure center of your brain like a punching bag in a Rocky montage for its entire 30-minute runtime.
The movie starts out in Miami, with a battle against a murderous arcade machine (a battle which is hilariously mostly lost but for its incredible highlights due to poor VHS tracking). Afterwards, the world’s greatest cop, martial arts superhero Kung Fury, decides to go back in time to kill history’s worst criminal, Hitler. This is made possible by (of course) computer hacking, as his friend Hackerman can literally hack time thanks to his top-of-the-line 7.66 MHz processor and a Nintendo Power Glove.
From there, things get kind of crazy.
Right from the beginning, with its heavily synthesized sound and animated logo, Kung Fury seeks to put you back in the eighties. Not in the real eighties, mind you, when people basically snorted coke all day to kill time waiting for the Internet to be invented (is what I’ve heard). No, this movie, set in classic action movie locales like the police station and the arcade, is part love-letter and part-send up of the story the eighties told about itself through its popular fiction. It’s the eighties of Miami Vice and The A-Team, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Karate Kid and Quantum Leap. All those things, just, on a lot of coke. It is perfect.
It might sound ridiculous that I don’t want to spoil too much in a movie about a time-hacking kung fu badass who faces threats like laser raptors (“I thought they went extinct thousands of years ago!”), but a huge part of the movie is being surprised by its sheer wackiness. It vacillates between winking over-the-top action movie and outright comedy, such as when Kung Fury launches into a commercial for a “personal transportable cellular telephone,” and somehow it just all hangs together beautifully.
Look, I don’t know what else to tell you at this point. The movie has Vikings, a G.I. Joe style animated sequence, and a triceratops cop who only fights by shooting people in the balls. You need to go watch your new favorite movie, Kung Fury, right now.