by Richie Watkins
I used to go to a college where most of the students laughed at the most stupid crap, like trying to speak the lyrics of an awful 80s song into a normal conversation.
“I don’t know how well I’m gonna do on this test”, says one person.
Enter the person’s “funny” friend, whose jokes always fall as flat as his/her feet, with this humdinger: “You’re the best around, and no one’s ever gonna keep you down.”
I’m sure you have met someone who has not only made this joke, but also is the Terminator of bad jokes. He or she absolutely will not stop–ever–until you are dead (most likely from jumping into oncoming traffic so you don’t have to hear him quote that drug-fueled Charlie Sheen interview, which you forgot about until right now). (P.S. Don’t watch/re-watch it). Wait, you remember when I said that Sir Flatfoot made a joke? Forget that, he made a reference in hopes of laughs.
Watching the internet sensation, Kung Fury, this past week, I suddenly felt like I was in a classroom again with a bunch of those idiots. In the first 30 minutes, there were no real jokes or satire. Instead there were just references to things that you apparently loved about the 80s, like Thor and dinosaurs…right?
Pictured: My response.
Great comedy unfolds from characters. But I guess the filmmaker/main star David Sandberg is rewriting the rules. In fact, they should not even be called characters, because they’re caricatures…of archetypes. The titular character is a no-nonsense cop who plays by his own rules (and whose voice sounds like a stilted imitation of Duke Nukem and Clint Eastwood). A main character should have an arc, but not Kung Fury! At the beginning, he resists a new partner. The next time we see the new partner, he saves Fury’s life, and Fury suddenly has a change of heart. Did I mention that the new partner is Triceracop? It’s a dinosaur dressed as a cop.
Take note Sandberg, having a dinosaur in your film just because does not make it actually funny. They need important stuff to do, like get high from eating a new plant, which causes their lives to crumble. See the marijuana episode of Dinosaurs.
There is no rhyme or reason to this movie. Things randomly blow up, people randomly act out of character for the sake of a laugh, and entire set pieces happen for no reason. Even crap like Scary Movie had set ups for its poop and sex jokes.
“Hahaha! Laser-shooting dinosaurs just because! That was a good one, Internet!”
HEY! IT’S NOT FUNNY! IT’S PAPER THIN! We’re supposed to laugh at the production solely because it looks cheap. To the trained movie-watching eye, one can tell when something sucks on purpose, and that the lack of straight-faced delivery makes every comedic attempt land with a thud. Take, for example, this exchange between Thor and Kung Fury:
Thor: “Check out my pecs.”
Kung Fury: “Your pecs are epic.”
Thor: “Thanks, bro!”
Why are some bad movies funny? Well, because the delivery of awful material is dead serious. Case in point: Samurai Cop. The movie tries its damndest to follow the 80s cop movie formula, but every element about is awkwardly bad, and the plot has too many holes to name. No one in the movie mugs for the camera to say a bad line, and when “big, crazy moments” happen, they have context. In other words, it’s awesome because it’s sincerely bad.
Unfortunately, concepts such as context (as well as breathing room between jokes, for example) have slowly gone to the wayside over the last 10 years. A lot of Generation Y and Millenials just want the dessert, not the appetizer nor the full entree. I suppose that is what people are conditioned to want when they can access almost any video clip or picture that gives them instant laughs. The gluttony of media, thanks to the Internet, has also made our generation far too nostalgic for its own good. We’re so busy remembering the 80s, 90s, and 2000s by posting pictures about “our childhood” that we are forgetting to push for more original content that does not make our current period a joke.
“Grandpa, what was 2015 like?”
“Well, it was a time of great memories.”
“Well, there was the time I remembered being obsessed with Pokemon, then I posted a picture about it to the Internet to let it know that I remembered. THAT was pretty cool.”
It’s an alarming sign of the times when a movie is praised for being nostalgic, as several critics have done with Kung Fury. Even worse, they praise it for being wildly original. What’s so original about making fun of the 80s? Family Guy and Robot Chicken already vultured the remains of that dead horse. Also, what’s so original about intentionally making a film suck? Does Birdemic or Snakes on a Plane ring any bells? What irks me about such films is that they inherently discourage you from bashing them for sucking. They are thin veils for people whose true motives are to be considered good by not trying to make a real movie. In addition, what is original about making fun of 80s cop movies?
Pictured: the latest victim of identity theft.
Here’s a thought, Kung Fury fans: instead of liking a film (or anything, actually) because everyone else does, develop a criteria for how to objectively judge it. It IS possible do so with even comedy. When one’s sense of humor can, say, detect irony or contradictions (in lines, situations, and characters), one can appreciate and perhaps relate to what is transpiring in the story, and could laugh because of it.
Any true fan of comedy should be ashamed that Kung Fury exists. If this is hailed as a modern masterpiece, will more movies of this ilk be made? Keep in mind that the highest grossing comedy last year was 22 Jump Street, which constantly jokes that it’s a repeat of 21 Jump Street. If laughing at “No Rhyme or Reason: The Movie” or “This Movie Sucks But It’s Okay Because That’s The Joke” become the norm, and less and less actual comedy films are made, will the art of comedy be ruined? (Hint: yes).
Be honest: did you like Kung Fury because it was free? Would you have paid to see this? The answer is yes, because the critics told you that you should like it. Enjoy the fad kids, because very soon it will be thrown into the trash where it belongs.
Rating: 0 out of 10