Sun Wukong, (The Monkey King) is a monkey born from a heavenly stone who acquires supernatural powers. After rebelling against heaven and being imprisoned under a mountain for 500 years, he later accompanies the monk Xuanzang on a journey to India. Thus, according to legend, Buddhism is brought to ancient China. This much beloved story, is as much a part of Asian culture as The Iliad and The Odyssey or The Wizard of Oz are to the West. This first installment in a trilogy of live action 3-D movies is actually a prequel to The Journey To The West, the much told story of the Monkey King's adventures on the road to India. The Monkey King: Havoc In The Heavenly Palace will be released in the U.S. as The Monkey King. The first movie is the origins story - beginning with the birth of Sun Wukong and ending with his imprisonment for his crimes under the Five-Peaked Mountain. Along the way he acquires incredible powers, battling the armies of the gods and the armies of the demons to find his ... Written by
Robert Harris / Global Star Productions
A faithful adaptation of the beginning of Journey to the West
I just saw this film with my mother, a 65-year old Chinese woman (who has trained under some masters of kung fu), who grew up reading the stories of the Monkey King (whereas I'm more familiar with the Japanese Series, 'Monkey Magic'). My mother was delighted at how faithful this film was, with so many of the characters and substories being very close to how she remembers them.
Unlike other reviewers, we found the CGI to be quite good (a couple of bad spots, but in other places, stunning!) We thought the acting and direction was also really good. Donnie Yen is such a wonderful and naughty monkey. His movement is fantastic, whether he was fighting or being a lazy monkey. Chow Yun Fat a benevolent Jade Emperor, and Aaron Kwok a coolly evil demon king.
The film is also incredibly fun. This isn't going to win any Oscars, but if you're out to have fun, it's a better adaptation of the beginning of Journey to the West than most.
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