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Siu lam juk kau
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Reviews & Ratings for
Shaolin Soccer More at IMDbPro »Siu lam juk kau (original title)

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110 out of 128 people found the following review useful:

Best sports comedy ever?

10/10
Author: funkyfry from Oakland CA
4 November 2004

Wow, I was really surprised by this movie. It is totally unique, I've never seen anything else like it. There is a very charming love story, and the effects are really cool. The idea of combining kung fu with soccer is very original.... even though it's so bizarre, you'll find yourself asking why nobody has done anything like this before. I laughed constantly throughout this movie and went out and bought it a few days after I first saw it.

I would recommend it to everyone I know. This is the best Asian comedy since the heyday of Jackie Chan and "Fighting Benny"! Go see it, buy it, whatever, just make sure you do see this film.

I would be surprised if there is not a sequel. This film should have been released theatrically in the US; I've heard Miramax handled it. Sorry guys you lost millions of dollars, this film would have been a smash hit. They probably just didn't think that soccer would sell in America, but word of mouth would have sold this movie very well.

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109 out of 131 people found the following review useful:

Amazing!!

9/10
Author: SPaS from Finland
17 June 2004

Or: the funniest movie I've seen this decade! I was expecting a moderate little asian comedy worthy about an IMDB 7 TOPS, but at the end, I was forced to give this 9 points! See, no other comedy has actually brought me to tears laughing in recent history! Either mr. Chow is a genius or he's one lucky sonova. See, "Shaolin soccer" just happens to press all the right buttons, and in right places! In the little "relief" spots it's as dramatic as it's supposed to be, and the rest, it's big, big, BIG laughs all the way. HIGHLY recommended! P.S. If you don't like this movie, your heart must be made of stone and you have absolutely NO sense of humour. My condolences.

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70 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

Kickful of comedy

10/10
Author: InzyWimzy from Queens, NY
21 June 2002

KUNG FU + SOCCER = lots of laughs!!

Funny funny funny. And that's coming from a non-soccer fan.

Great performances here in this blend of comedy and high flying soccer action. Stephen Chow as Sing packs one hell of a kick!! His chemistry with Ng Man Tat (Golden Leg) is natural as it is in most of their films together. Plus, Sing's Shaolin brothers provide for a lot of comic relief!! From their soccer training to the championship game, there are really cool kung fu soccer shots, a mix of Matrix/Crouch Tiger special effects and it delivers. Oh, and Vicki Zhao literally steals this in the end (you have to see it).

The Bruce Lee goalie scene is priceless. This movie can definitely be watched several times with even more satisfaction!

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79 out of 96 people found the following review useful:

I hate sports movies.

10/10
Author: Andy (film-critic) from Bookseller of the Blue Ridge
9 February 2005

What a wonderful sports film. STOP, read that line one more time. I ask you to do this because you will probably never see this again.

This was a sports film, for me to say that it wasn't would be a bold faced lie. This had all the characteristics of the modern Hollywood sports film, but what made it stand out and enjoyable is that it did not take itself seriously … AND … it had some amazing CGI action sequences. I recently watched a film called Equilibrium where it was mentioned that it could rival the popularity of The Matrix, well I would have to say that perhaps this film, Siu lam juk kau, would probably do more in toppling the king of bullet-time cinematography than Equilibrium would. I was impressed from the beginning till the end of this movie. The characters were all animated and individual in their own way. There was time used to set them up and learn about each of them. This wasn't one of those films where you spent most of your time with one of the characters then never really got to know the rest of them … you knew them all and couldn't wait to see what they were going to bring to the table next. Hong Kong has crafted a spectacular film here. They have taken the popularity of the bullet-time effect and applied it to a genre that definitely needed a face-lift. I am surprised that America wasn't the first to do this, but we are a nation that loves the standard sports film, so why change what we love. PWFSSSST. We are so lazy sometimes.

Siu lam juk kau tells a spectacular story coupled with some amazing graphics to create a story about love, teamwork, and superpowers. I also enjoyed the fact that this film also tried to say that kung-fu is not an old topic, that it can and should still be used in society today. When we think of the martial arts films (and physical aspect), we see them as a very old and dated genre. Well, let me be the first to say that they are coming back, and coming back with a vengeance. I enjoyed the fact that this was a revenge film. So many of our kung-fu films are revenge films, I was happy to see that this one was not far off. This film used techniques that I have not seen used in any other films. They took the old, skillful ways of the dated kung-fu film, added the work of bullet-time, and added the sports flare to it to create Siu lam juk kau. It had us laughing, it kept us based in reality, and it focused my attention to the screen for the entire film (a task that no other sports film has been able to do). I think that by having your star also direct it (directed and starred Stephen Chow) it builds upon a sense of comfortability with the story. Chow is a master of slapstick, yet seldom overdoes the silliness, choosing carefully timed gags and meticulously mounted visual construction over slapdash comedy. The film is also no stranger to the bizarre, with Chow's multiple homages to Steven Spielberg, and a weird egg gag that I'm honestly shocked still remains the American cut of the picture.

Overall, Siu lam juk kau is a amazing combination of comedy, action, romance, and dazzling soccer footage, forming an irresistible package to those looking for something they haven't seen before. We see that it is a personal story that everyone is having fun being a part of. That also helped this film … the characters really wanted to be in this film and it shined like the North Star through our screen. The dubbing (which seemed off a couple times) only added delight to this film. Chow's Siu lam juk kau, is and will always be breathtaking.

Grade: ***** out of *****

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67 out of 81 people found the following review useful:

If you don't enjoy this movie, you are a bad person

Author: Keith Stevens (cornjob-2) from Indiana, PA
3 February 2003

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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53 out of 71 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly funny

10/10
Author: athisted from Århus, Denmark
17 January 2004

This movie contains the traditional Chineese fundamentals for a comedy; Pain, humiliation, cheap effects and serious over acting. Regardless of these facts it held me enthralled all the way to the End. A truly funny and original film!

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34 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Great entertainment

8/10
Author: MikeA from Isle of Man, British Isles
6 January 2004

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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38 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious

10/10
Author: smoothw from Sherwood, Oregon
13 July 2002

After watching the deadly dull and self important road to perdition, my friend and I needed a movie to cleanse our system. Shoalin Soccer is the perfect movie for that purpose. I dare anyone to actually hate this movie. The special effects are great, all the performances are great, and the movie doesn't take itself at all seriously. I think the horrible translated subtitles actually improved the experience. GO EVIL TEAM!!! Stephen Chow is definitely a talent to watch.

Miramax, please don't mess with this movie too much if you ever release this in america.

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31 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

brilliant film, shame about the cuts & dub

Author: Richard Cheesman from Abergavenny
30 November 2004

This film was seen as something of a surprise. Having only heard of Shaolin Soccer on the net, and seen a teaser for the film, I thought nothing more of it until given the opportunity to go and watch the UK release. My initial disappointment with the dubbing (I am a subtitle die-hard) was soon overcome with admiration of how far HK cinema has come. Imagine the FX expertise of the Matrix with the comedy of Jackie Chan fused into a somewhat generic football film. In a word, a brilliantly scripted and often funny film. Many moments are extremely funny, with the over-the-top storyline made famous by HK, and also the very touching moments with the acne-ridden baker girl/love interest as she is only accepted for what she is. It feels as if there is more to the love story in the original cut of the film, as the story occasionally skipped in places, like a bad DVD. But the overall story is not affected, it moves sedately at first, which is good, as the excessive use of Kung-fu and Football are shown in increasingly ridiculous stages. The final goal reminds me of Hot-Shot Hamish, for those that read the comics. Worth seeing, and I can't wait for the DVD - providing it has the original cut, and subtitles.

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28 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

One Of The Dumbest - And Funniest - Movies Ever

8/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
14 February 2007

This has to be one of the goofiest, dumbest, strangest - and funniest - films ever made! It made sound like a cliché, but you truly have to see this movie to believe it. It's that outrageous, far-out: a slapstick film containing martial arts, supernatural power and the sport of soccer.

We get the usual misfits-make good story, which is nothing new, but how it happens in unlike anything I've ever seen. I can't recall how man times I literally laughed out loud watching these ludicrous scenes. The climactic soccer game at the nd got carried away, of course, but it was still fun to watch.

Earlier in the story, the bizarre dialog, odd encounters with different characters and the humor is stupid many times.....but so stupid, it's comical! I just shook my head in amazement at what I was seeing and hearing. Be prepared, as I said, for some incredible dumb things, but also for much weird but definitely entertaining stuff.

Note: I watched the short "English theatrical version" which runs 89 minutes. You can also view the 112-minute Chinese version. From what I've heard, read, and witnessed, the 89- minute is sufficient. Any more of this insanity would be too much.

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