Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons
|Director||Stephen Chow and Chi-Kin Kwok|
The bumbling Tang Sanzang takes the stage as the perfect anti-hero. Armed with a book of children’s nursery rhymes, he’s been taught by his Buddhist master in the ways of demon hunting, a talent that he hasn’t fully harnessed yet. Ambitious and eager to prove himself, Tang sets off into the world to encounter a vicious plethora of monsters in all shapes and sizes, from a village-crushing fish to a gluttonous pig. Failing miserably, the unequipped Tang is forced to continuously turn to the beautiful and mysterious Miss Duan for assistance. But as this episodic adventure races at high speed through several types of traditional Chinese action and fantasy pics, it becomes abundantly clear that Miss Duan has her own motivations for helping Tang, which will all be revealed as the film culminates in a showdown with the conniving Monkey King.
This is Chow’s first film in five years, and it’s a triumphant return to the director’s chair. His high-energy slapstick style is on full display here, offering the best of his talents in utilizing special effects and lush production design to support vaudeville-esque gags. Brimming with creativity, JOURNEY TO THE WEST is a deeply hilarious and fun-filled escapade. (Michael Lerman)