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The Mad Monk More at IMDbPro »Chai gong (original title)

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

An earnestly filmed film by Stephen Chow

9/10
Author: freemanchiu from Hong Kong
25 October 2005

The story: Chow, as a Chinese fairy, believes that things are not set by god, so he was sent to the "earth" to prove that he is correct. His mission is to change the "fixed" lives of 3 people: a woman who is dedicated to be a pros for 9 lives, a man who is dedicated to be a beggar for 9 lives and a man who is dedicated to be a gangster for 9 lives. However he loses his magical powers on "earth" but only has a bamboo fan which can fulfill 3 wishes a day.

The camera angles are comparatively special among Hong Kong films on the releasing year. Chow's character is good-heated and has a encouraging spirit. It is earnestly filmed, and there is no dirty jokes or whatsoever stupid.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Visually complete!

10/10
Author: Barry Drake from United States
25 January 2007

I watch a lot of Hong Kong movies. When I bought this one, I didn't realize that the version I bought did not have English subtitles. I watched it in Mandarin, with no subtitles, and I still found it quite entertaining! Stephen Chow is a comedic genius who transcends language.

The basic theme, of a fairy from heaven who comes to earth, can be found in his other movies as well. In the fairy's life as a human, we understand more about ourselves. Stephen Chow has good insight into human character, motivation, and what is essential to a good life.

His earnest desire to make other peoples' lives better is reflected in the fates of his three "subjects".

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Stephen Chow as you've never quite seen him before

6/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
13 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

No, this isn't another version of the Rasputin story, but instead a crazed and madcap comedy from Hong Kong. It stars popular comic actor Stephen Chow as a celestial entity who comes down to Earth to inhabit the body of a crazy monk and whose job is to change the lives of three people: a prostitute, a beggar, and a murderer. The film was directed by Johnnie To, long before he became known for his gritty gangster movies.

And what a wearying movie this is! How much you enjoy it depends on how much you like Chinese comedy. It's one of the fastest-paced and crazy Chinese comedies I've watched, with a pace that never flags and more incident than a dozen similar Hollywood productions. The early scenes set in Heaven in which all of the gods and deities (including a cameoing Anita Mui) argue and debate is truly imaginative stuff and the imagination keeps flowing once the action moves to Earth.

Chow gives an exaggerated performance as the lead and he's matched by the supporting cast. Maggie Cheung has never looked lovelier as the put-upon prostitute while Anthony Wong is clearly having a ball as the boil-covered beggar. At times THE MAD MONK is hard to watch purely because it's so noisy and incident-filled that it becomes a bit headache-inducing. A lot of the gags are low brow but there's also wit and inventiveness here. There's nothing quite like it. I particularly enjoyed the gruesome and downbeat stuff that takes place towards the end and the kaiju homage. You'll probably want to sleep for 24 hours after you finish it.

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6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Hes from Heaven, now hes MAD!

Author: secrective from detroit
17 October 2002

Stephen Chow plays an angel-type being in this movie, in where he bets the other people in Heaven that he can change the ways of 3 misguided souls and make them better people.

Ressurected as a monk, he must stop a prostitute, a beggar, and an all around bad guy from being what they are (and have been for generations). To add to all of this, he must do this in 3 Heaven days!!!

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Charming to the last!

Author: Michael Heagle (carschool@aol.com) from Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
30 May 1999

Typical fare for the most part, saved by some very funny situations and some terrific effects! The beauty contest ending is worth the wait... Is it the best one joke film ever made?

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