An influential Hong Kong comedian, actor and film director, best known in the west for Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, Stephen Chow Sing-Chi (born 22 June 1962 in Hong Kong) is famous for his slap stick martial arts movies. He also has something of a reputation for taking unknowns as his romantic lead, collectively called "Sing girls", all of whom go on to have successful careers in their own right.
He was also a producer for Dragonball Evolution, but beyond that he had not given any sort of creative influence to the film, even if it needed it.note
Directed, Written and/or Starred In:
- The Final Combat (a memetic quote from his character, "Let's sit down, have some tea and a bun, and talk slowly", is regarded as the Trope Maker of his mo lei tau style)
- My Hero (widely considered his big break in showbiz. Known for a CMoF involving really bad karaoke that gained memetic spread at the time)
- All for the Winner (originally a God of Gamblers parody, later gets promoted to canon when he appears in God of Gamblers III)
- New Fist of Fury (an Affectionate Parody of Bruce Lee's Fist of Fury, of course. There's even an Acting for Two moment in an Intercontinuity Crossover with All for the Winner.)
- Fight Back to School (Die Hard in a high school)
- Tricky Brains
- Justice My Foot (The first of many Qing Dynasty period films by Chow, this one sees him take the role of ancient lawyer Song Shijie, taking on his many crises of character in the court with the usual Rule of Funny thrown in)
- The Royal Tramp (based off the classic literature The Deer and the Cauldron)
- King of Beggars
- Flirting Scholar (Affectionate Parody of the classic romance of Tang Bohu and Qiuxiang. Known for testing the waters for epic duels by pitting martial arts legends Cheng Peipei and Gordon Liu against each other.)
- Love on Delivery
- Hail The Judge (Looking like a Follow the Leader of the resurgence of interest in the historical judge Justice Bao thanks to a Chinese Long Runner tv series, this is actually a Spiritual Successor of Justice My Foot)
- From Beijing With Love (an Affectionate Parody of James Bond)
- A Chinese Odyssey (based off Journey to the West)
- Sixty Million Dollar Man
- Forbidden City Cop (Spiritual Successor to From Beijing above)
- God of Cookery
- King Of Comedy
- Shaolin Soccer
- Kung Fu Hustle
- Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
Stephen Chow's work provides examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: Much of his earlier stuff, but A Chinese Odyssey comes dangerously close to Pragmatic Adaptation.
- Author Tract:
- The Royal Tramp ends with Wei Xiaobao (played by Chow) pointing out that Manchurian rule has not exactly scourged China and the La Résistance may not even be necessary, deliberately paralleling the impending handover of the Hongkong colony from UK to China rule in '97.
- King of Beggars has the newly-crowned king of beggars Soh (played by Chow) lampshading the fact that the poor have become the majority, and the problem of poverty can only be solved by those with the power, all to the Emperor's face. And all this was WAY before the #Occupy movement.
- The one in Forbidden City Cop has stirred up controversy due to being a Flip-Flop of God in comparison to the Royal Tramp one above, but the real point is the same as the King of Beggars one - real power belongs to the people.
- Black-and-White Morality: Sticks to traditional good vs evil stories.
- Classically Trained Extra: This sums up his start in showbiz in a nutshell, having practiced Jeet Kune Do before starting out as an actual extra.
- Enlightenment Superpowers: Multiple of his films involve a Buddhist powerup to finish the climactic battle. Notably A Chinese Odyssey, Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle.
- Genre Shift: From shlocky B-movies thanks to director Wong Ching to full-blown blockbuster material from A Chinese Odyssey onwards. The knee-slapper moments have remained intact, though.
- Mood Whiplash: Chow's films are known to suddenly veer from slapstick comedy to melodramatic tragedy and back.
- Production Posse: The second best known hallmark of Chow's work. Al the recurring actors in his movies can be divided into three categories - longtime friends (eg. Ng Man Tat and Sandra Ng), hot young things getting a bump in popularity while falling victim to rumors of being his newest dalliance, and classic big names going through a Career Resurrection.
- Rule of Funny: Widely considered the Trope Codifier of the mo lei tau style comedy (which translates to something in the vein of "nonsensical comedy") for Hong Kong cinema.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Very much on the Idealistic end.
- Slobs vs. Snobs: One theme of Chow's movies included the conflict between the working class and the upper-class, which sympathizes with the former. Though the lead character of God of Cookery and King of Beggars came from wealthy strata, they only learn humility as they spend more with the lower classes after their fall from grace.