Young Tang monk Tripitaka and his three disciples - Monkey King, Piggy and Sand Monk - are ambushed and captured by the demon tree. Tripitaka escapes with Monkey’s golden pole and begins a journey to free them. This pole can turn into any fighting device as long as you say "I’ll love you for 10, 000 years." Along the way he meets an unlikely love interest and fighting companion in Meiyan, an ugly girl who falls in with him but is told she has to consume him to achieve immortality. But the mysterious Princess Xiaoshan and her army who used to live on Earth receive the monk’s undivided attention. Who are his friends, and who really wants to consume him for his flesh, which contains the key to eternal life? How will he survive aliens, huge armies and mad Celestial gods?
The characters of "Journey to the West" (aka the Monkey King adventures) have been the subject of numerous cinematic adaptations, like this year’s Lost in Wu Song. Steven Spielberg is currently working on his own interpretation. Versatile director and frequent Wong Kar-Wai collaborator Jeff Lau has taken a new slant to this soon-to-be-classic revisionist fantasy. Audiences already familiar with Lau’s Chinese Odyssey 1 and 2 with Stephen Chow (Fantasia ’96) are in for a real treat. This is the ambitious version he always wanted to do. An all-star cast graces this HK$100 million production, filmed entirely on the exotic canvas of mainland China, and filled with gloried appearances by the HK industry old and new - including Shaw Bros.’ regular Gordon Liu (Dirty Ho, Kill Bill 2) as white-haired Emperor of Heaven. The film received five well deserved HK Oscar nominations for its ambitious visual effects, art direction, costume, make-up and its majestic score by Hayao Miyazaki’s frequent music collaborator Joe Hisaishi. Jet Li’s regular action choregrapher Cory Yuen expertly directs the action with style and grace. HK cinema is renowed for seamless mixing genres, and this film mixes them to new extremes. Be prepared to experience the fast and furious ride that incorporates martial arts, epic battles, monsters, HK’s comic trademark mo leu tai and out-of-this-world love story with a touch of Bollywood, compacted into 100 minutes of pure visual dynamite. If you do so, you’ll love this film for ten thousand years.
Director: Jeff Lau
Screenplay: Kei On
Cast: Nicholas Tse, Charlene Choi, Chen Po Lin, Isabella Leong, Kara Hui Ying Hung, Yuen Hua, Gordon Liu
Producers: Albert Lee, Wang Zhan Lian, Wang Zhong Lei
Distributor: Emperor Motion Pictures
North american Premiere
2006 | 5 min