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Journey to the West (2013)

Xi you: Xiang mo pian (original title)
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Tang Sanzang, an aspiring Buddhist hero tries to protect a village from three demons. He develops complex feelings for Miss Duan, the demon hunter who repeatedly helps him, and finally quests to meet the legendary Monkey King.

Directors:

, (as Derek Kwok)

Writers:

(as Xingchi Zhou), (as Zijian Guo) | 6 more credits »
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3,387 ( 408)
1 win & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Duan Xiaojie / Miss Duan
...
...
...
Kongxu Gongzi / Prince Important (as Zhixiang Luo)
Sheung-ching Lee ...
Sha Seng (as Shangzheng Li)
Bingqiang Chen ...
Sihan Cheng ...
Wuming Shifu / Master Nameless
...
Beidou Wuxing Quan / Fist of the North Star (as Xingyu)
Zhengyu Lu ...
Killer Yi
...
Killer Er
Di Yang ...
Killer San
...
Killer Si
Hangyu Ge ...
Killer Wu / Short Monkey King
...
Taoist Priest
Lun Yeung ...
Mayor
Edit

Storyline

Tang Sanzang, an aspiring Buddhist hero tries to protect a village from three demons. He develops complex feelings for Miss Duan, the demon hunter who repeatedly helps him, and finally quests to meet the legendary Monkey King.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for fantasy violence including bloody images, some sexual content and partial nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 February 2013 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Journey to the West  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,456 (USA) (7 March 2014)

Gross:

$17,734 (USA) (4 April 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Dolby Atmos)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First Stephen Chow movie since CJ7 in 2008, Journey to the West was China's highest grossing movie in 2013 with 1.247 billion yuans. See more »

Connections

Version of Xi you ji: Da nao tian gong (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Love In A Life Time
Composed by Lowell Lo
Original Lyrics by Tang Shu Chen
Lyrics by Wendyz Zheng
Performed by Qi Shu
Imar Music Entertainment Co., Ltd.
Rock Music Publishing Co., Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
HK Auteur Review - Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons 西遊·降魔篇
24 May 2013 | by (Hong Kong) – See all my reviews

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons marks the very first Stephen Chow directed movie without him acting in it. So, what can I properly expect from this movie? The idea of a Stephen Chow movie is always exciting. However, I was concerned that it might be the start of an new era in which Stephen Chow will only direct movies and not act in them anymore. For that, I was both excited and scared to see this film. But finally, I decided there probably wasn't anything to expect and just walked in without expectations.

Fortunately, that ended up being the best way to seeing this movie. I ended up being really surprised and taken away by it.

It's clear that Stephen Chow's passions are now set into directing. He has improved a lot as a director; his films have become more cinematic experiences. There's less reliance on comedic dialogue, more emphasis on telling a story with stronger imagery, and has an improved sense of setup and payoff. He's much more interested in storytelling mechanics and more invested in where he can take an audience emotionally besides just laughs. With the way he structures some of his story, there's a symbiotic relationship between comedy and tragedy that he's very interested in exploring.

Wen Zhang delivers that exact balance between tragedy and comedy in his performance as Xuanzang. He is a charismatic leading man and he shoulders the film with both its funny and heartbreaking moments. When he was playing for humor, I laughed. When he was crying, I found it moving. I am buying him at every moment and he was playing me like a squeeze toy. The story gives a genuine pathos as he becomes the Xuanzang we know from the story.

Shu Qi is very affable in this role and it's nice to see her play a character with more cartoonish sensibilities. I especially liked her psychotic expressions when she was killing off demons. And yes, I can see how hard it is to reject Shu Qi if she threw herself at you like she did in this movie.

Huang Bo is a fun Monkey King and makes a very engaging antagonist. This version of Monkey King is richly complex. It's an interesting take on the character because it highlights a key point about Sun Wukong that's often glossed over: He never had a choice to join Xuanzang on his journey to the west. The Monkey King goes only because he is tamed by the magical torture crown that's he is forced to wear on his head. In this interpretation, he's not completely good or evil. Huang Bo does not play it too over-the-top by enhancing the animalistic sensibilities. Instead, what really stuck with me was how he convincingly played the desperate pain of being trapped under a mountain for five centuries.

The film's gags are executed with much discipline. The gags are zany but not random. They are all building character and moving the story forward each step of the way to it's final conclusion. It's masterful how Chow is able to use comedic moments to build towards moments of sadness and loss.

The thought of no more Stephen Chow roles anymore aches me a bit but his presence is felt here. He has delivered a well-made film. Fortunately the film is done well enough to help me get over my aching and accept him now as only a film director. I look forward to seeing him continually improve as a storyteller and to the next installment in this series.

For more reviews, please visit my blog @ http://hkauteur.wordpress.com


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