Kung Fury (Sweden 2015)

Rating: **
Review Date: 5/30/15
Director: David Sandberg
Cast: David Sandberg, Leopold Nilsson, Jorma Taccone, Eleni Young, cameo by David Hasselhoff

Miami's best cop is a man named Kung Fury (David Sandberg), who was granted super mystical kung fu powers one night when he was struck by lightning and bitten by a cobra. Adolf Hitler (a.k.a. Kung Führer), has traveled through time to 1985 to challenge Kung Fury, so Kung Fury decides to go back in time to preemptively kill him in Nazi Germany. With the aid of computer genius Hackerman (Leopold Nilsson), Kung Fury travels back in time, but overshoots his target and ends up in the Viking Age with a group of Viking babes and laser raptors. The Viking babes call upon Thor to help send Kung Fury to Nazi Germany, and a huge kung fu battle goes down. But is Hitler really dead?

It's astonishing to me that with today's technology you can create material of this quality for less than a million dollars. Based on a trailer that David Sandberg made for $5000, the full thirty minute version was crowd funded for $600,000 via Kickstarter. Incredible. The entire thing plays out as a parody/homage of 80's cop buddy films, and the presentation is ridiculously over the top. While it has moments of sheer brilliance, more often than not it relies on heavy-handed stupidity to get laughs. A lot of the humor is forced and unfunny, and the film works best when it's trying to be serious. The colors and graphics are appropriately nostalgic and the genre clichés are nicely realized, although they tend to become overbearing after a while. David Sandberg is wonderful as Kung Fury, and does an uncanny job of channeling a young Johnny Depp. His moves are fluid and graceful, and his outrageous kung fu showdown against the Nazis is arguably the highlight of the film. Eleni Young provides some much appreciated female eye candy as the gattling gun wielding Viking babe, Barbarianna. She's utterly delightful. David Hasselhoff makes a surprise cameo as the voice of Kung Fury's car, and sings the film's nostalgically synth-rock theme song. Overall, it's a mixed bag that makes you laugh and wince in equal measure, but it's short and definitely worth checking out if you're into independent action comedy.