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After a fateful mistake costing his career, an ex-soccer player bum meets a shaolin kung fu student trying to spread the word of kung fu. The ex-soccer player helps reconcile with his five brothers, and teaches them soccer, adding shaolin kung fu as a twist. Written by
Stephen Chow writes, directs and stars in probably his funniest and most accessible (to Western audiences, at least) film to date.
Sing (Chow) is trying to find a way to encourage his countrymen to re-embrace their Shaolin kung fu heritage. When he meets down-at-heel ex-soccer coach Fung (Ng), the pair hatch a plan to form a soccer team with Sing's Shaolin brothers. Unfortunately, these guys have lost their kung fu skills. Sing resolves to help his brothers regain their dignity, then lead them into a championship showdown with the seemingly unstoppable Evil Team. He also finds time to fall in love with Tai-Chi baker Mui (the usually lovely Vicki Zhao), who gets some of the funniest scenes in the movie.
As a non-Chinese speaker, my experience with Chow's previous films is patchy, his wordplay humour rarely making a decent transition to subtitles. The comedy here though is mostly physical, possibly even deliberately geared more towards a Western market. The plot - however clichéd - is a pleasing tale of underdogs made good, and the movie has a definite feelgood feel and uplifting ending. Even the CG is impressive and well used. It's the most entertaining movie I've seen in ages.
I was watching the Universe DVD. Subs are decent enough, without too many typos, and the 'making of' and other extras have English subs also.
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