When watching Kung Fu,
overlook the period and the stories. If you examine the universe, the very rules Kwai Chang Caine follows while wandering the western United States, you’ll see he lives in a bleak world of little hope. It may not be Blade Runner or The Hunger Games, but Kung Fu carries many of the same traits that define dystopia. We make the case here.
An unusual blend of martial arts in a western disguising a morality play. Kung Fu poses its hero as a half Chinese drifter observing humanity requiring all his strength and wisdom to survive it. It’s slow pacing, extensive dialog, and dystopian universe is something rarely exist in American media. There is no single scene of greatness. For Kung Fu’s liberal use of slow motion, still frames, and repetitious flashbacks robs the series of any polished presentation. However, it is in its storytelling, narratives, and subtlety that makes Kung Fu unique. Especially by today’s perspective, Kung Fu is a cruel world. While there are good souls, those evil rarely converted and not always defeated. David Carradine, while not a super hero, acted a super man overcoming injustice, bigotry, and bounty hunters. Kung Fu’s three year run spun a variety of fairy tales that indulged in the supernatural. It’s a long lost series happily reliving days when character development wasn’t a sin and martial arts not perfectly choreographed and the only means of resolution.
Watch carefully, Grasshopper. Kung Fu is in our Hall of Favorites.