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Siu Lam juk kau (2001)
Don't Trust Trailers!
The trailer made the movie seem somewhat of a serious theme with absurd special powers... almost a Crouching Tiger Hidden Soccer type deal. This is not, however the case, which, in my opinion is Shaolin Soccer's greatest strength and weakness. It's a double edged sword. #10's goofiness as the main character is apparent from the beginning of the film throughout. He's not Jackie Chan, but he's pretty darn close at times. There is a lot of exaggerated slapstick throughout the film, and sometimes the situations given made me feel a bit uncomfortable, thus bringing me out of the immersion feel. It took me a little bit to get my mindset right as to what kind of movie to watch this as, a Kung Fu movie, a comedy, or an 'underdog sports story'. Truth be told, it's a live action anime wrapped into two hours. The plot is contrived, had been done two thousand times by countless directors and such, and nothing special. The kung fu incorporated with obvious special effects has also been seen a million times and one would wonder if it's enough to stand alone repackaged into soccer... Is it enough?
For the masses, the selling point of 'Shaolin Soccer' will be the fun special effects used in the manipulation of the world most popular sport.
for me, however, I think the humor mixed into the message of the movie was what charmed me the most, albeit, the martial arts in the soccer were great to see in live action format.
if you've seen the trailer, watch the movie with an open mind. =)