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Genre: Action/Martial Arts
Starring: Sammo Hung, Vanness Wu, Cherrie Ying, Kago Ai, Hung Tin Ming, Lam Tze Chung, Louis Fan, Bruce Leung
Director: Yip Wing Kin
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2008







Languages: Cantonese/Mandarin
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 32 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: InnoF
orm Media




Wong, the leader of the clan is a master in kung fu as well as a master chef who is true to his values and loyal to his traditions. He takes over his older brother, Gay as the village head after the latter injured his right hand in an accident.

Gay's son, Jo thinks that the accident is a plot set up by Wong and hence does what he can to oust his uncle from the village and claim rights to the "Dragon-Head Cleaver", a symbol of power to the clan.

After being forced out of the village, Wong helps the Shen sisters' restaurant; "Four Seas" make a comeback. During which, he teaches Lung, a young cooking wonder. "Top Chef" competition is on and it is a chance for Lung to bring "Four Seas" back to the top. Can he win with Jo making things difficult for him?


The world of Chinese culinary is a fascinating, inspiring topic for most screenwriters and filmmakers in Asia. Over the years, we have the excellent Lee Ang’s Eat Drink Man Woman, Tsui Hark’s The Chinese Feast and of course Stephen Chow’s God of Cookery which all three successfully blend cooking with social drama, romance and comedy.

For the umpteen times, the audience is treated to yet another culinary blender, this time with Kung Fu.

With a ridiculous newly grown pornstache, former teen pop idol Vanness Wu takes on the role of Lung and Big brother Sammo Hung plays Wong Ping-Yee. As if to fully expand the use of Wu by the producers, Lung is both a martial arts and cooking wonder while Wong, an ousted cook takes Lung under his wings and both work for the once flourishing Four Seas restaurant owned by the Shen sisters (Cherrie Yin and Kago Ai).

The wafer thin plot fails to convincingly develop the ongoing feud between Wong and his evil nephew, Jo (Fan Siu Wong from Ip Man) except to stage a few respectable fights (choreographed by the Yuen Brothers) between Jo’s henchmen and Lung and Wong versus Jo in the finale. Wu who has already shown his agility in his movie debut in Star Runner proves once again that he can actually handle a blow or two. But when he tries to act cute and lovey-dovey with Japanese pop singer, Kago Ai, the movie collapses faster than a deck of poker cards. Sammo whose only duty here is to spout cookery wisdom played it best with a straight face.

It doesn’t help that Kung Fu Chefs jumps from one scene to another haphazardly. One minute Lung and his girlfriend are captured by the menacing Jo and the next, Lung is already getting ready for the culinary competition. So what’s the point of the kidnap? And why did Jo’s father never step out to clear the air after so many years? Underdeveloped scenes like these makes it hard to invest our feelings for the various characters and the obvious budgetary issue never dwells too long on the cooking process which is a shame as it’s a main theme of the movie.

Diehard fans of Vanness Wu might lap this up consider there’s a money shot of his ridiculously lean body thrown in while the older audience might find some solace seeing Sammo in action (stunt double included). Other than that, the production looks like it come decades too late which explains why it was never picks up for general release in most parts of Asia. Oh did I mention about the Dragon-Head Cleaver? Never mind, you won’t give a dime anyway.




For a 2008 movie, the visual looks grainy as if it’s shot in the 80’s and the audio comes in a choice of Mandarin and Cantonese. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that’s Vanness speaking in his own voice in Mandarin while the Cantonese is obviously dubbed. And there’s loud crackling sounds in the background detected when the audio is cranked up.



Review by Linus Tee

Posted on 24 June 2009



. Kung Fu Chefs (Movie Review)

. Interview with Vanness Wu

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This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm Media


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