Does this even count as a movie? Sure, the credits list plenty of names, and the digital effects couldn't have created themselves, but Kung Pow!: Enter The Fist still feels like one man's bad joke that's somehow been accidentally released to theaters. Bolstering that impression is the fact that one man, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls writer-director Steve Oedekerk, serves as writer, director, producer, and star. So remember that name, and remember to avoid it. Upping the ante, but lowering the brow, on Woody Allen's re-dubbed What's Up, Tiger Lily? and Carl Reiner's use of vintage film footage in Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, Oedekerk works over the 1977 martial-arts movie Savage Killers, re-dubbing the Chinese dialogue and digitally inserting himself into the old footage. The premise wasn't necessarily doomed to fail, and as a star, Oedekerk has the right looks for a comedic leading man, like a Scott Bakula model gone slightly awry. But where are the jokes? A female character (dubbed, like all the voices, by Oedekerk himself) punctuates each sentence by exclaiming "wee-ooo-wee," while Oedekerk's character has an animated face on his tongue. The effect is something akin to a dog whistle: Fifth-graders might process these things as gags, but for others, they register only as noise, if they register at all. Kung Pow! runs just over an hour. Within that meager running time, characters speak in silly voices, The Matrix is parodied yet again, and a whole lot of cheap computer animation gets displayed. Then it all ends, with the promise of a sequel that, with any luck, will never arrive to steal time from anyone's life.
More from The A.V. Club
Selena takes a bow, James Marsden takes The Stand, and Shonda Rhimes comes to Netflix this December on TV