4.8/10
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34 user 21 critic

Xi you ji: Da nao tian gong (2014)

A monkey born from heavenly stone acquires supernatural powers and must battle the armies of both gods and demons to find his place in the heavens.

Director:

Soi Cheang (as Pou-Soi Cheang)

Writers:

Tai-lee Chan (as Tai-Li Chan), Kam-Yuen Szeto | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Donnie Yen ... Sun Wukong / Monkey King
Yun-Fat Chow ... Jade Emperor
Aaron Kwok ... Bull Demon King
Yitian Hai ... Master Puti
Peter Ho ... Erlangshen
Joe Chen ... Princess Iron Fan
Zitong Xia Zitong Xia ... Ruxue (as Xia Zitong)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kelly Chen ... Goddess of Mercy / Guanyin
Calvin Ka-Sing Cheng Calvin Ka-Sing Cheng ... Nezha
Siu-Fai Cheung ... Heavenly King
Him Law ... Muzha (as Chung Him Law)
Cathy Yue-Yan Leung Cathy Yue-Yan Leung ... Caixia Fairy
Gigi Leung ... Chang'E
Jing Li Jing Li ... Green Monkey
Hua Liu ... Dragon King of the East Sea
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Storyline

A monkey born from heavenly stone acquires supernatural powers and must battle the armies of both gods and demons to find his place in the heavens.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site | Official site

Country:

China | Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

8 February 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Monkey King Havoc in Heavens Palace See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$166,391, 5 February 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$709,617, 1 April 2016

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$181,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story the movie was based on inspired Akira Toriyama to write the hit manga and anime Dragon Ball and its sequels. Yun-Fat Chow starred in this movie as well as Dragonball: Evolution (2009). See more »

Connections

Version of Journey to the West (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Donnie Yen's highly-spirited performance and Soi Cheang's energetic direction made this a surprisingly enjoyable epic fantasy.
3 February 2014 | by caseymoviemaniaSee all my reviews

When THE MONKEY KING debuted the teaser trailer sometimes last year, I was doubtful whether Donnie Yen was really up for the legendary Sun Wukong role or not. Even the glimpse of the special effects doesn't look engaging enough to convince me whatsoever. However, upon finally watching it, this nearly four-years-in-the-making production proves to be a well-worthy cinematic experience after all.

WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

During an ongoing war between god and demon on the Heavenly Palace, Bull Demon King (Aaron Kwok) lost the battle against Jade Emperor (Chow Yun-Fat). However, Jade Emperor's daughter, Princess Iron Fan (Joe Fan), begs her father for mercy because she loves Bull Demon King very much. Jade Emperor ends up banishing both of them to the Fire Mountain and forbids them to enter Heavenly Palace ever again. Meanwhile, a monkey spirit is born out from Princess Nuwa's (Zhang Zilin) magic stones which later grows up as a mischievous adult. Soon he is trained under Master Puti (Tian Hai Yi) and names him as Sun Wukong. After Wukong completed his master's training, he returns to the Mountain of Flowers and Fruits where he originally belongs to reunite with his fellow monkey clan and calls himself as Handsome Monkey King. Trouble arrives when Bull Demon King sees Wukong as his golden opportunity to use him as bait to access Heavenly Palace, while waiting for the right moment to wage war against the god all over again.

THE GOOD STUFF

Last seen in 2012's MOTORWAY, Soi Cheang's direction is colorful and yet entertaining enough to please most of the die-hard fans of the Sun Wukong story. Speaking of story, Szeto Kam Yuen's and Edmond Wong's screenplay is a fairly satisfying combination of action, comedy, romance and fantastical elements all rolled into slick package. Christopher Young's music score, in the meantime, is simply majestic. The action sequence, which is choreographed by Donnie Yen himself, is often exhilarating and epic in scope.

As Sun Wukong, Donnie Yen has successfully delivers one of his best performances ever seen since IP MAN (2008) and IP MAN 2 (2010). And likewise, he proves to be such a nimble fighter as usual, especially when he uses his golden staff. Other actors, such as Peter Ho as the scheming Erlangshen and Chow Yun-Fat as the noble Jade Emperor, are equally acceptable as well.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT(S)

The "all-hell-breaks-loose" duels during the movie's spectacular finale.

THE BAD STUFF

Despite the hefty amount spent on the budget, the special effects are average at best. Even there are times the special effects looks like a rushed job. Some of the other cast, including Aaron Kwok's villainous turn as Bull Demon King, Kelly Chen as Guanyin and Gigi Leung as Chang'E, are sadly underwritten.

FINAL WORDS

While THE MONKEY KING is far from the best movie adaptation ever seen from Wu Cheng'en's classical novel of Journey to the West, it remains a satisfying effort worth checking out for this Chinese New Year.

caseymoviemania.blogspot.com


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