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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
If you don't enjoy this movie, you are a bad person
Throughout the nearly two hour running time of this movie, the room was a glow with merriment, excitement, and remarks of "Holy crap, that is the coolest thing ever!" Indeed, for this movie is filled with amazing visuals, fantastic fun, and all around goodness. Shaolin Soccer is a harmless movie, the type that mentions the normal morals you might find in a children's movie (work in teams, don't let success go to your head, cheating is bad, etc.), without preaching them.
Some Shaolin-trained, but for the most part poor and unhappy men get organized in a soccer team with a coach who was crippled in a soccer riot after losing the big game twenty years ago. You've got a variety of misfits--the spunky young'n with the steel leg, the obese convenience store clerk who can nearly fly, the plutocratic salary man who uses a style reminiscent of Flying Chimpanzee's Cotton Belly in Wing Chun. It's an odd little band, stretching from barely-post adolescent to nearly retirement age. This rag-tag band is quite endearing and it works so well.
Sure, there are a few instances of cheap humor, but you've got to expect this. The visuals are fantastic, the characterization competent (even if you probably have seen the archetypes before), and it's a lot of fun, whether it's the parody of a war movie (which my friend called scant instants before it happened) or the somewhat unusual tribute to Bruce Lee (hint: it's all in the sunglasses).
Should you see this movie? Yes. I'd say this movie deserves 4 1/2 stars out of five based on technical merits, etc. But on fun? That's right, it gets a million billion stars. Now let's see what Miramax cut out--25 minutes? Crap.
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