Analysis of the opening scene to Kung Fury

The following is an analysis of the hit indie film “Kung Fury”, i will be using the media codes and conventions of an action film to analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of said trailer.

As we draw in on the establishing shot of an apocolyptic Miami in the year 1985, we see various explosions going off in the background and the wail of police sirens echoes in the distance. This is an effective establishing shot as it establishes both year and location whilst also setting the scene for the audience. Following this is a medium shot of 3 youths walking down an alleyway and toward the camera. They are dressed head to toe in stereotypical gang clothing including tattoos, guns and headbands. As a police officer pulls up along side them to confront them about their illegal weapons he is swiftly kicked out of the scene as his car is catapulted into the air and shot at until it explodes. This i an effective way to further represent the lawless streets of Miami in 1985, as it was already touched upon in the establishing shot. This section of the opening scene makes it clear to the audience that the city is corrupt and has fallen prey to thugs and crime, the police force is out numbered and unable to control the lawlessness. After adjusting the audience to the rough environment, the film quickly cuts into a medium shot of man holding a very typical 80’s boom box with an equally as typical neon 80’s ‘arcade’ sign behind him, when suddenly another man enters the farm and shoots the man with the boom box in order to steal said boom box. This is also an effective way of establishing the theme of ‘survival of the fittest’.

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The ‘survival of the fittest’ lifestyle Kung Fury presents in its opening scenes

Following the scene demonstrated above, we draw in on the arcade in the background. inside are two teens, playing on a classic 80’s arcade games when suddenly after being a sore loser one of the teens kicks the machine and consequently prompts it to life to start its bloodthirsty rampage. After blowing up the head of the teen, the machine bursts through the roof in a big explosion. This particular scene presents a range of action codes, including futuristic machines, explosions, goodies and baddies and a mission waiting to be completed. Which is when our protagonist is introduced. Enter Kung Fury! the long shot/establishing shot of Kung Fury’s pent house temple reflects his name as these style of temples are typically associated with kung fu and other forms of asian fighting styles, whilst also being an apartment which reflects the second half of his name as a furious super american. The mise en scene used in the background suggests that the character we have been introduced to is some sort of super hero, the framed cover of time magazine with a big picture of Kung Fury on the front suggests that he is a national treasure. Other props used in this scene hint at the ridiculousness of this characters hybridity, for example he is a futuristic cop who has one foot in the traditional world of Kung Fu.

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Kung Fury on the cover of time magazine

Following this is a tracking shot as Kung Fury bursts through the paper wall and off the edge of the building, and straight into the Ferrari below.this is an effective scene as it establishes the extent of Kung Fury’s powers as he is able to free fall down what seems to be at least a 20 story building and into a car, to which he opened the door by shooting at it. This scene is also full of action codes, as it shows the futuristic car and also establishes Kung Fury’s motive, to fight injustice. This section follows a Todorovian style of story line, as the equilibrium is established as Kung Fury sits in his pent house apartment, when the phone rings i.e. the disruption, calling Kung Fury to duty. Kung Fury fights and destroys the deranged game machine and consequently saves the city, the new equilibrium. Following this is the origin story of how Kung Fury came to be.

In conclusion, i found that the opening scene to Kung Fury is effective as it uses a variety of action codes to establish particular things, it also uses a good range of camera angles, editing and mise en scene. It also clearly establishes location, character and genre allowing the audience to adjust them sleeves and relate to the coming film.

i have analysed the first 3 minutes of this clip below, but the rest of the film is available to watch including the trailer.


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