Fiiiiii-nnnnaaaal Fuuuuuu! Final Fu!
So fine. I'll admit it. I'm watching it. And I... like it. And no, I don't have any excuses for it, other than it makes me relive all those fevered dreams I had for that short four months when I was a white belt studying Tae Kwon Do when I was in eighth grade. Shut up. Like you guys didn't have delusions of martial arts grandeur, getting to star alongside the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and variations there of that peppered the pop culture radar back in the day? Just me then? Fine.
The thing about Final Fu is that it's not all that great. The challenges are kinda lame, I mean, do we really need to see some strange punch kick combinations on a dummy? Really we do? And just when I'm questioning why on earth am I watching this show, Ernie Reyes Jr. does some crazy hand movement or does some crazy stunt (which is why I like him to begin with) or does something involving a gong, and then I go "Oh yeah. That's why. Heh. Gong."And what is with the gong? As Fighting Nun so aptly put it "Can't you just count down and blow a whistle like the rest of us plebes? A gong? Jesus." That gong is freaking ubiquitous. It stopped being a set piece and turned an actual character somewhere down the line. I swear to God.
But I have to ask, what happened to Ernie Reyes Jr.? I mean, where has the cute kid, and the even cuter tennager with the long hair that spouted off bad lines of dialogue in movies such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 and Surf Ninjas? Who is this buzz-cut-coifed, track-suit-wearing gym teacher and what has he done with the Ernie Reyes Jr. I know and love? I mean he's still got his martial arts moves and all, by the hair? And the looks of Ultra-sterness? Doing him no favors.
But besides that, I'm really starting to love the show. I'm starting to love all of Ernie Reyes Jr.'s kookie moves he does before and after every fight. It's like he's stuck in a Mortal Kombat video game and he can't quite give up the gestures. And before you open up outlook, let me just say that, Yes I know that those hand gestures are part of a unique martial arts ritual. Save your speech. Besides, it doesn't matter, because Heh, funny hand movements. I've also started repeating his various lines, complete with hand gestures. Take for example, what he says after every fight "Saaa-Lute. Rest." So much authority. Sooo odd and yet so fun at the same time.
Know what else I'm loving about this show? All the screaming. Before every match, the brilliant camera guys and editors do these awesome close ups on the fighters screaming. Each fighter has the same exact look. It's this "I'm trying to be intimidating so I'm scrunching my face up into a pseudo-wolf-snarl thing, but because I already have my mouth guard in you only see the black of the mouth guard, so I look like a gumless wonder" look. Don't think that sounds funny? You will when you see it. It will crack your shit up, and you will immediately rewind for a sight of the screaming-scrunchie wonders once more.
But the only drawback to this show, which might not be considered a draw back depending on how you look at it, is what I call the "Monkey See, Monkey Do" hypothesis, playing itself out in our house. Here's the thing. Remember when you were a kid and you would see something cool on TV, not something totally unbelievable like say Superman flying, or Wonderwoman with her bracelets and all, but something that was really cool but yet attainable, if you know, you had actual coordination and weren't 10. Like I always wanted to root around in an air duct, you know those big metal ones you always see in the movies that everybody always uses as an escape hatch, but have I ever found one of those big metal air duct thingies in which to escape into all secretive like? No. I don't even think they really exist.
Now that we're grown up, the Monkey See, Monkey Do hypothesis has changed a little bit. Take for example the time Fighting Nun and I saw Ronin in the theater. For two weeks after that, Fighting Nun drove all crazy-like, trying to drive backwards all fast, and getting all swervy and crazy. The thing with Final Fu, which also holds true with most martial arts movies (See Kung Fu Hustle) is we both get it in our heads that we should reenact a scene or a fight. This almost never ends well. Somebody almost always misplaces a kick, landing in somebody else's nutsack (I wonder who's who!) then the fighting escalates from the fun play-fighting reenactment to wanting to inflict a little pain, and then it goes on and on until either an arm is bruised, or somebody either takes an elbow, a door, or a wall in the eye (ahem, Fighting Nun, ahem), or gets a ping pong ball in the neck (that was me) and blood is drawn accidently (both of us). So thanks Final Fu, for enliving the Monkey See, Monkey Do principle once again.
So, Final Fu! I reccomend it! From Ernie Reyes Jr.'s gong action (Nasty!) to the awesome growly thing the fighters do, to actually convincing Fighting Nun and I that we should fight all martial-arts-stylee. The Bloody Munchkin reccomends it. *Gong*.