Kung Fu Chefs

Directed by: Wing Kin Yip

Written by: Cyrus Cheng, Eddie Chu, Simon Liu, Po Wang, Joey Yuen

Produced by: Jeremy Cheung

Starring: Sammo Hung Kam-Bo, Vanness Wu, Cherrie Ying

Run Time: 93 minutes

Who would have thought that the best chefs in the world would know how to fight in addition to cooking luxurious dishes?  It’s true, well maybe not in the real world, where our cooking competitions are interesting but lack the real excitement that only a street fight could bring.  Kung Fu Chefs mixes two of my favorite things, good food and a hefty dose of kung fu action.  While Kung Fu Chefs isn’t the best kung fu movie out there, it is an entertaining watch for all of those people who enjoy cheesy low budget action/comedy movies.

Starring the legendary Sammo Hung as the disgraced master chef Wong Bing-Yi, who has an almost super natural ability to cook as well as fight, and Vanness Wu as Lung Kin-Yat, a recent graduate of kung fu cooking school, Kung Fu Chefs has an awesome cast.  One problem with most action movies is that the main character, the guy who’s supposed to represent the common man, is always some muscular, ruggedly handsome action star but the heavy set Sammo Hung actually looks like he could be a real chef which makes the action scenes extremely entertaining.  Think about it, who wouldn’t want to see an episode of Iron Chef where Mario Batali smacks some punk upside his head when he gets out of line?  Hung may not be a real life Batali but in the film, he could be one of his long lost relatives.

The basic plot itself is simple, after being kicked out of the Village, a prestigious restaurant and school, and having the Dragon Head Cleaver, a legendary weapon/chef knife, stripped from him, Wong Bing-Yi travels, sample and judges restaurant cuisines. During his travels Wong gives an unfavorable review of his meal at the Four Seas Restaurant, the head chef challenges Wong to a chefs dual (see it sounds silly already) stating that he would leave his family business if he lost.  We all know what happens, Wong wins and now that the restaurant was left without a cook, Wong steps in to help the struggling establishment.  It doesn’t take long for Wong’s arch enemy, his nephew, to discover that he’s begun cooking again which starts a war between their two restaurants.

Kung Fu Chefs was shot on a low budget so of course it isn’t one of those artistic kung fu movies, like Crouching Tiger, which have taken over the genera over the last few years. Kung Fu Chefs is more of a comedy which takes you back to the days of those late night martial arts movies that used to play on television years ago.  Even though the action is cheesy, the cooking can’t possibly be right and the whole story is a little off, you can’t help but love the old school feel of the movie.  If you’re like me and love the nostalgia of those old low budget action movies, be sure to check Kung Fu Chefs out.  This movie will be part of the Mill Valley Film Fest so you’ll also have the chance to watch it on a big screen.

Rating: 6 out of 10

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