This is cooking where the kung fu is sometimes used for fighting, but is more often applied directly to the art of cooking, such as various kung fu styles of frying. Also, the pinnacle of culinary success in the world of this film is a dish called “Exploding Pissing Beef Balls.” Yes it is. And to top it off, Stephen Chow's movie presents a remarkably engaging story in spite of all the silliness involved.
Stephen Chow is a master of straight-faced, absurd comedy: Comedy that gets its punch by setting up the most ridiculous situations and then playing them entirely seriously. He does this very well as an actor, and he does this very well as a director. In this film, he's both.
Part I -- What a Jerk!
|Unusual term of affection?|
In one scene, he invites an employee to dine with him. During the meal, he occasionally does something nice for the guy, like hand him a napkin. Or he occasionally does something asshole-ish, like shove the guy's face into his plate. This random cruelty is at the crux of his managerial strategy:
|Is THAT what's in those Management Strategy Guide books?|
The only fly in the ointment of Stephen Chow's corporate dream world is ugly people and things—for some reason he really hates ugly. Like ugly God of Cookery groupie fans:
and ugly chefs:
|In Stephen Chow's world, it is.|
|"ugly" is the word you're searching for.|
Part II -- Redemption
|A radical cure for ugly.|
As you might guess from the name, these are special meatballs that explode piss all over your face when you bite them:
By the way, we learn of another major selling point to Exploding Pissing Beef Balls, when Chow applies for a loan at the bank for his new business:
|Well, OK then.|
The film then shows Chow building his second company, and training himself, all leading up to the grand finale cooking competition so he can win back his “God of Cookery” title. In the process he travels to mainland China and enrolls in what he thinks is a Chinese cooking academy, but which actually is a kung fu school. And he learns some lessons about true love, and cooking "from the heart."
Oh, and his hair turns white for no reason.
An example of competitive cooking:
Bottom Line of this Chinese Movie Review: Should you see this movie? Yes, by all means yes. And show it to friends too, if you want to introduce them to the awesomeness that is Hong Kong cinema!