HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Playhouse
Love Lottery, The
Deeper You Dig, The
Trouble Brewing
Song Without a Name
Incident in a Ghostland
Relic
Nobody
Now, At Last!
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
   
 
Newest Articles
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
   
 
  Golden Monk, The Reincarnated and it feels so good
Year: 2017
Director: Wong Jing, Billy Chung
Stars: Zheng Kai, Evonne Hsieh Yi-Lin, Kitty Zhang Yuqi, Mao Jun-Jie, Wong Cho-Lam, Law Kar-Ying, Mao Mao, Michelle Hu Ran, Cheng Ran
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: On a mission to slay demons and do good, zany but dedicated mystical monk Butong (Zheng Kai) clashes with tomboyish demon hunter Jing-Jing (Kitty Zhang Yuqi), unaware they were star-crossed lovers in a previous life. Centuries ago the pair were banished from heaven for their forbidden romance. And have since been reincarnated countless times without ever recognizing each other. Joined by an old friend himself reincarnated as a kindly monk-cum-were-tiger (Law Kar-Ying), the two team up to eliminate giant rampaging demons. However the return of an old enemy from Butong's past throws the mortal world into unprecedented danger.

From Hong Kong comedy hit-maker in the Eighties to reigning schlockmeister of the Nineties to blockbusting mega-producer through the Noughties, good old Wong Jing just keeps plugging away. Here, flush with cash following the From Vegas to Macau franchise, his lavish and lucrative reboot of the God of Gamblers series with Chow Yun-Fat, Wong re-teams with protégé Billy Chung for a wacky, effects laden fantasy epic. Based on the same Chinese folk tale that inspired The Mad Monk (1993), The Golden Monk sees likable mainland actor Zheng Kai step into the role previously played by comedy legend, and former Wong Jing collaborator, Stephen Chow Sing-Chi. Yet while the plot hits a few beats familiar from the earlier film, true to form Wong Jing also fashions this into a shameless rip-off of Chow's record-grossing mythological romp Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (2012). From the opening set-piece with Butong struggling to subdue a giant fish demon rampaging through town, to the tragicomic romance between dorky monk and swaggering tomboy, to the spectacular CGI monster mash finale, Wong proudly proffers a string of second-hand goods.

With manic performances and rapid-fire gags unlikely to translate for a non-Chinese audience The Golden Monk would be a chore to watch were it not for a handful of positives. On the one hand Wong Jing clearly spared no expense. Lavish digital effects sit comfortably besides beautiful costumes and stunning sets, drenched fittingly in lush golden hues. It is pacy and laden with spectacle. Including a parade of Ray Harryhausen-style creature battles sure to delight monster fans (including a malevolent cyclops and striking red versus golden dragon made of a thousand monks at the climax). However Wong's attempt to ape the heartfelt romance Stephen Chow himself modeled on the films of his mentor Jeff Lau falters due to a lack of sincerity, skill and shameless padding. At one point the plot stops dead just so characters can watch a sort of 'instant replay' of past events.

Lead actor Zheng Kai is an energetic comic presence enlivening some otherwise sluggish scenes. Unfortunately his chemistry with co-star Kitty Zhang Yuqi just isn't there. The latter, another transplant from Stephen Chow's stock company, first featured in his sci-fi family comedy CJ7 (2008), is especially disappointing. Strangely listless in a role obviously modeled on Shu Qi's far more nuanced and fiery heroine in Journey to the West. More fun is comedian Evonne Hsieh Yi-Lin who dons mustache and dreadlocks for a cameo as male hero Dugu Wubai. That is before she is dispatched in inexplicably grisly fashion. Rather like the similarly incongruous moment when a trio of pneumatic vixens-cum-bestial-she-demons feast on screaming captive kids it is symptomatic of a schizophrenic tone Wong pulled off better decades prior. The more successful jokes include a montage depicting the leads' various reincarnations through time that include parodies of famous folk tales like Butterfly Lovers and Mulan, and a sequence where Butong and Wubai inexplicably morph into various Marvel superheroes. Look out also for a groan-inducing reference to the Angry Birds game and presumably animated movie. Nevertheless neither the film's romance nor attempts to deal with the spiritual and philosophical themes central to The Mad Monk and Journey to the West gel with Wong's relentlessly lowbrow approach.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 638 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: