Anthony's Film Review

Shaolin Soccer (2001)

Shaolin martial arts and an international sport mixed in with hilarious sight gags...

Stephen Chow definitely adds a unique spin on the martial arts genre. With really funny special effects, he creates comedy that takes a step above Jackie Chan's work. In Shaolin Soccer, Stephen Chow stars as Sing, a martial arts master who wants to spread the word about Shaolin kung fu. With kung fu, a person could cut leaves from trees much faster than standard tools. With kung fu, a girl slipping on a banana peel could easily land on her feet and keep on walking.

What Sing wants is a fun way for people to be interested in the art. One idea he has is to spread the word about kung fu through singing. In a funny scene, he and another character dress as monks in yellow robes and play guitar while singing how Shaolin kung fu is great.

The other principal character is Golden Leg, a former soccer star whose leg was broken during a game in which his rival wins. That rival is now the coach of Team Evil. Golden Leg is determined to get even. He wants to train a soccer team that could beat Team Evil. He meets Sing in the street, and eventually, they decide to form a soccer team combining Shaolin and soccer.

Sing seeks out his other brothers from the Shaolin temple, who now lead lives as ordinary citizens. One is a businessman. Another is a fat guy in a supermarket. All of these brothers have some sort of special power. Sing has a powerful leg to kick with while the fat guy is the Light Weight who can fly in the air. At least, he could do so years before.

The team trains, but find that they suck compared to another team in red shirts. Suddenly, without warning, their powers return, and they all demonstrate them as they instantly beat the other team. Now they are on the way to the championship that promises a large amount of prize money. But they are up against the brutal opponents of Team Evil, whose powers are not spiritual but rather come from performance-enhancing drugs.

Shaolin Soccer is simply a movie to laugh oneself silly. It was fun to just be suspended in disbelief and smiling at the unusual sights of a blazing soccer ball flying at 1,000 miles per hour and special abilities of the team, all of which surprisingly don't bother the soccer spectators one bit. I think Shaolin Soccer is a very entertaining movie and one that should not be missed by fans of kung fu films, sports films, and comedy films.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Shaolin Soccer, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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