Urban Cinefile
"Thank God I've got these movies that are fun and I can do things, like go on a 10 week boot camp - that's fun."  -Vin Diesel after making xXx
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Monday, October 23, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

SHAOLIN SOCCER

SYNOPSIS:
In 1981, striker Fung (Man Tat Ng) misses a crucial penalty kick and his team loses the national soccer championship. More than 20 years later his life is in ruins, and the man responsible for his misery [he bribed Fung to miss and had his leg broken by paid thugs], Hung (Patrick Tse) is now a rich celebrity coach. When Fung sees young Sing (Stephen Chow) practice Shaolin Kung Fu in the street, he is amazed. Also watching Sing is Mui (Wei Zhao), a shy and heavily acned martial arts expert who makes exceptional sweet dumplings. Sing befriends her, and encourages her to be confident. Similarly, Fung encourages Sing to combine his Kung Fu with soccer and forms a ragtag team, which eventually aims to win the championship - against every obstacle.

Review by Andrew L. Urban
There is not a moment that this film takes itself seriously, and yet it comes off as a totally un-self-conscious piece of entertainment with laugh out loud moments of pure comedy.

While there is plenty of parody - both of martial arts films and of physical comedies - the film also scores a goal in its elaborately inventive special effects routines (an early morphing sequence is especially brilliant and memorable) that pay tribute to the great comic inventions of silent cinema. The visual gags far outweigh the film's plot, but there is also a decent smattering of dialogue jokes.

The best part is that these dialogue jokes are in English: the whole film is dubbed. And it's dubbed with reckless abandon, as if to heighten the humour by the absurdity of mis-synching lip synching. I know I'm a bit weird, but I love it.

Although not quite in the Blake Edwards or Mel Brooks school of zany comedy, Shaolin Soccer is nevertheless a laugh a minute affair of silliness played with enough pain to make it shtick. You'll get a kick out of this one. Scores a goal. Doesn't drop the ball. And it's over at half time!

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

SHAOLIN SOCCER (PG)
(HK/USA)

(Siu lam juk kau)

CAST: Stephen Chow, Wei Zhao, Man Tat Ng, Patrick Tse, Yut Fei Wong, Kwok Kuen Chan, Lam Chi Chung, Chi-Lang Sam

PRODUCER: Kwok-fai Yeung

DIRECTOR: Stephen Chow

SCRIPT: Stephen Chow, Ken-Cheung Sang

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Pak-huen Kwen, Ting Wo Kong

EDITOR: Kit-Wai Kai

MUSIC: Lowell Lo, Raymond Wong

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Kim Hung Ho

OTHER: Siu-Tung Ching (action director)

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: BVI

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 29, 2004

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: BVHE

VIDEO RELEASE: November 10, 2004







Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017