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Taking place in the younger days of the famous monk, Tripitaka (known for bringing the sacred Bhuddist sutras from India to China), the film tells a fantastical adventure of the monk and his three disciples. On their way to the city of Shache, the monk narrowly escapes an attack from a group of demons. While trying to think of a way to rescue his disciples, he is captured by the king of reptiles and placed under the vigilance of Meiyan, an ugly demon who falls in love with the monk. Luckily, a princess from another galaxy rescues the monk, deeply affecting Meiyan, who pursues the two. In a twist of fate, the ugly Meiyan decides to help her beloved and teams up with the princess to rescue Tripitaka's three disciples.Written by
The greatest distance divides us, not because you are oblivious to my love, when I stand in front of you; but because we each other, knowing fate will forever keep us apart.
[translated from chinese text shown on screen]
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STORY Chinese Tall Story tells the story of righteous monk Tripitaka, who, along with his guardians Monkey, Sandy and Pigsy make their journey west on a quest to recover ancient Sutras, finally, they reach the final leg of their journey in Shache City But all is not as it seems when the city is attacked by evil tree demons. Monkey tries his best to battle them but is overwhelmed, knowing his master is in grave danger, he uses his trusty golden staff to thrust Tripitaka to safety.
The monk ends up being knocked out when he land and when he wakes up he finds himself in the presence of a young lizard imp named Maiyan who takes quite a shine to our young hero, after many verbal misunderstandings Maiyan becomes convinced Tripitaka loves her, so when the monk decides he must rescue Monkey and the others, she insists on accompanying him. So the mismatched pair begins their adventure together.
REVIEW Okay, so, it's another Journey To The West movie, which isn't a bad thing to me since I love the story and the characters associated with it, so I was a little excited to get my hands on the DVD. So I think I'll start off my review with the story, which is all over the place, at first it was your standard fantasy film, then it became a ridiculous comedy then suddenly became full blown sci-fi, if the director Jeff Lau was experimenting with mixing genres then he did a pretty scatological job with this movie. I think it's a pretty unique approach by having the story centre on a character other then the infamous Monkey King, especially taking a character as pacifistic as Tripitaka and then putting him into what is at it's core a love story. So overall, I liked it.
The acting is for the most part solid, with leads Nicholas Tse and Charlene Choi putting in some really good performances, though Ah Char does spend most of her screen time behind some rather ugly make up. The supporting cast is nicely put together, it includes all the usual EEG main stays so Boy'Z and Isabella Leong make appearances, one actor I'd like to mention is Wilson Chen, who plays the Monkey King, he did a good job with the limited material he seemed to have been given, he played a version of the Monkey King who was subdued yet arrogant, I had a feeling he'd be retreading Twins Effect II territory but fortunately that's not the case here. I hope he gets to do a follow up to this with himself in the central role, since the film does leave itself open for a sequel.
Okay, so let's get down to the directing, which again is kinda all over the place, Lau gives too much time to the Stephen Chow-esquire nonsense comedy, which includes a scene where Tripitaka in order to toughen himself up, dresses up as Spider-Man, which I assume lead to many a head scratching moment since the film is meant to be set in Ancient China. He does create some really nice and tender moments between the two leads and does delve into sappy territory but this reviewer does enjoy a bit of sap on occasion so it didn't bother me in the slightest.
Right, now onto the CGI, which for the most part is quite bearable, there are a lot of moments which probably belong on a PS2 like many other reviews have stated but there are some cool moments particularly the scene in which Monkey battles a flying minion. A lot of the CG gags are provided in the form of the golden staff which turns into a range of different things, ranging from a giant fly swatter to a mech suit straight out of The Matrix Revolutions. So yeah, it sounds crazy but I guess you'd have to see it to believe it.
Right, so in closing A Chinese Tall Story isn't a movie without it's flaws but it keeps itself together long enough to be able to entertain and generally be a overall enjoyable movie. If all of the above doesn't swing you to see it how about I put it this way, it's much better then Twins Effect II.
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