This project was originally conceived as the movie version of popular Japanese manga SlamDunk! and that’s not something new to Jay Chou, who made his movie debut playing a character from another wildly popular manga Initial D. Along the way, it was decided to incorporate some kung fu into the movie, so hence the title, even if the idea wasn’t very original, with Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer coming to mind with martial arts and ball games combined.
However, and thankfully, those scenes where kung fu actually influenced the games were kept to a bare minimum, and in Kung Fu Dunk, really quite unnecessary, because they don’t add much to the plot nor drum up much excitement, and at most offered some cheap laughs and reminisced about the time when Stephen Chow used kung fu in football games. Jay Chou is comfortable in his role as a martial artist Fang Shi-jie since it’s not the first time he fought using martial arts (Curse of the Golden Flower anyone?), and under the stunt direction of Ching Siu-Tung, he was made to look really believable as he trashes countless of gangsters in a bar as seen in the trailer, just to let you know who’s boss.
That was almost why his character is made a kung fu practitioner, and for the fact of giving him an excuse for being a top shot, able to shoot the hoops from practically any angle. And with Eric Tsang as a small time hustler Chen-Li who sees his potential and becomes his agent, he joins a university to play varsity basketball, but not without the initial objection of team captain Ting-wei (Chen Bo-Lin) and team star Xiao-lan (Baron Chen, in his big-screen debut). But you know with team members on the same side, it’s not before long they combine their strengths to take on adversaries on the basketball court.