Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Obscure Movie Review Of The Day: Shaolin Soccer

Imagine if Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Matrix got together with The Bad News Bears or maybe The Big Green and spawned a film offspring, with a tiny bit of Naked Gun's genes thrown in as seasoning.

You'd have Shaolin Soccer, a Hong Kong action comedy about a group of Shaolin Monks who have had trouble adapting their Kung Fu skills to the real world, until they come across Golden Leg, a former soccer star who's now a bum after having his life ruined by the sadistic coach of Team Evil.

Perhaps no scene sums up this movie better than the one that comes early on in the picture--after a bystander proclaims that sometimes, "I just have to sing, other wise I'll explode!" the camera zooms in to show a raging fire in his pupil.

Suddenly, we zoom in on a half dozen pupils, and find the same fire in a half dozen eyes.

And just as suddenly, all half-dozen people launch into a dance number to a rousing version of "Celebrate!"

The entire film is such a blend of intense special effects used to pull of goofy gags. Surprisingly, while much of the film's humor is goofy, they still give the audience credit for intelligence. For example, one of the teams they play in the "Super Cup" tournament is clearly made up of women disguised as men in order to play. However, this is never once referenced or pointed out--it's left to the audience to figure out what these girls are doing and why.

I highly recommend it to any fans of goofy comedies, Matrix-style special effects, or Hong Kong comedies.

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