The trailer for Paws of Fury: Legend of Hank looks hilarious. This film is not about how Jimbo can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The canine here is young, and he wants to do good for a local town. It’s safe to say this particular cat will steal the show given how charismatic Samuel L. Jackson is. He introduces the trailer, and what we see is a tale is about how this underdog can stand up to bullies.
I can’t help but think Hong Kong Phooey is a major influence. The character design for the hero is very familiar. Also, I loved that show when I was a kid. Sadly, the Hanna-Barbera toon didn’t age well when I looked for online episodes to enjoy again. Thankfully, Paws of Fury updates the humour.
In a town mostly dominated by cats, a down-on-his-luck hound, Hank (Michael Cera) wants to be a crusader of justice for them. However, to be ready means getting training from Jimbo (Samuel L. Jackson) and hoping his nemesis, Ika Chu (Ricky Gervais) can take his challenge seriously.
Jackson never fails to entertain. His personality rivals Dwayne Johnson’s for voice over work. I can’t wait to see more of his character in the film and am wondering if he’ll take some inspiration from Miyagi (Pat Morita) of Karate Kid fame to extol added understated humour.
This movie might parody even more martial arts films, but when we have a wild west look, the tribute is obvious. This film is an homage to Blazing Saddles. I’m okay with this because Mel Brooks’ humour is a style in itself. And since he’s still around, he also voices the Shogun. It’s hard to say if he’s the sheriff of the said town Hank wants to survive in, and let’s hope nobody shoots him.
Just how close or different it’ll get will not be known until the film debuts July 15, 2022.