Soccer Kicks an International Goal
comedy/action hit "Shaolin Soccer" kicked
the ball out of the Hong Kong arena in 2001, and is
set to do the same this month in the United States.
This film, which was directed by and stars Stephen Chow,
was the highest grossing film of all-time in Hong Kong,
earning HK $60 million (U.S. $7.7 million).
also won multiple awards including Best Picture, Best
Director, Best Actor and Best Visual Effects at the
2002 Hong Kong film awards.
to its amazing success, Hollywood's Miramax bought the
film to dub in English and release in the U.S. in August
of this year. According to http://www.dailyvariety.com,
the U.S. version is without all of the comic outtakes
that closed the movie, but no major scenes were deleted
from the film.
difference though, which reflects the injection of Americanism,
is the opening scene. In the original version, the film
opens with a "quiet, atmospheric" locker room,
whereas the Miramax version opens in the midst of an
intense soccer game, clearly displaying America's love
for action rather than emotion.
don't want to miss this truly unique film that
according to Derek Elley of Daily Variety should
"finally establish the Hong Kong comedian
(Chow) outside of East Asia."
film begins with soccer star Fung, played by Ng Mang-tat,
accepting a bribe to lose a game by missing a penalty
kick. But when he carries out the deal, the outraged
fans rush the field and beat him to a crippled pulp.
The movie then skips ahead twenty years where Fung is
living a miserable existence working as a disrespected
lackey for the "Evil Team." But his luck turns
when he meets Sing (played by Chow) who is a Shaolin
Kung Fu fighter-turned-trash man. The two cook up a
plan to reunite Sing's former Shaolin buddies who are
also living pathetic unhappy lives after abandoning
their art, and with the help of Fung, form a Kung Fu
style soccer team to challenge the chemically enhanced
ballers on the "Evil Team" for the national
film ingeniously combines the international sport of
soccer, the ancient art of Shaolin, comedy, action and
even special effects, which play a major role in this
film. The digital effects were done by Hong Kong based
company Centro and according to Derek Elley of Daily
Variety, have an "appealingly cartoonish flavor."
J.D. Nguyen of http://www.kfccinema.com seemed to agree
stating, "the subtle detailing in each glowing
and beautifully sculpted effects are reminiscent of
Japanese anime in the sense of style and ambient flavor."
you're looking for a good laugh, mark your calendars
for August 15th, 2003, the wide release date currently
set for "Shaolin Soccer." You don't want to
miss this truly unique film that according to Derek
Elley of Daily Variety should "finally establish
the Hong Kong comedian (Chow) outside of East Asia."