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The Foot Fist Way
2 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Jody Hill

Written By:
Danny R. McBride, Jody Hill, Ben Best

Danny R. McBride, Ben Best, Libertad Green, Juan-Carlos Guzman, Jody Hill, Collette Wolfe, Mary Jane Bostic, Ken Aguilar, Tyler Baum, Sean Baxter, Bruce Cameron, Erin Fisher, Jeff Hoffman, Danielle Jarchow, Deborah Loates, Carlos Lopez, Spencer Moreno, Erica Owens, Nicholas Stanley, Chris Walldorf

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The Foot Fist Way (2008)
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Movie Review by Jarrod
June 1st, 2008

'The Foot Fist Way' is a crude, hilarious, low-budget comedy; it caught the eye of Will Ferrell and he helped to produce it. It is, at heart, a martial arts spoof, akin to something Ferrell might have starred in himself. Danny McBride is fantastic as Tae Kwon Do instructor Fred Simmons, who idolizes an action star named Chuck Wallace (Ben Best), who is supposed to be a clone of either Chuck Norris or Steven Seagal, or perhaps some combination of the two. Fred's worship of Wallace is pathetic and unwarranted, as the guy is not so great, something Fred will eventually learn. Fred is a repulsive and arrogant bully; he enjoys beating the snot out of his inexplicably loyal customers, including old people and small children. He also has a tendency to hit on any reasonably attractive female that crosses his path. There is never a moment where we actually believe that Fred knows what the hell he is doing, but his appalling cluelessness is coupled with a talent for boasting, making exaggerated, delusional claims about his own greatness, and reminding anyone who will listen about some championship he won back in the early 90s. Fred's wife Suzie (Mary Jane Bostic) is having an affair with her boss (though that is certainly not the limit of her infidelity), and he drags along his buddy Mike (director Jody Hill) to a convention where they get to meet Wallace. Wallace agrees to make an appearance at Fred's dojo, and Fred courteously invites Wallace to stay with him and Suzie, an arrangement that ends with predictable results. Fred challenges Wallace to a fight, quite a spectacle to watch these third-rate hacks beat the snot out of each other, or pretend to. The film looks cheap, does not have high aspirations, and is willing to do just about anything to get a laugh. Plot is irrelevant; it exists only to provide an underlying structure and context for the various jokes and gags, most of which hit the mark, even though there are, of course, some that fail rather drastically.

Jody Hill has a third-degree black belt (presumably in Tae Kwon Do, or maybe just ordinary karate), yet is never interested in realism; the clumsier, sillier, and more amateurish his actors look while punching, kicking, and posturing aggressively, the better. Through the plot, Hill also pays overt homage, both to the now-defunct martial arts B-movie genre (which included atrociously dubbed Asian imports) and bad action movies in general; ones that typically have Chuck Norris, Seagal, or Van Damne listed in the credits. 'The Foot Fist Way' is charming and energetic, not to mention extremely funny (Best and McBride steal the show), and it is one of the best comedies I have seen so far this year, along with Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay.

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