Siu Lam Juk Kau (Shaolin Soccer)

Film Icon This was another DVD choice this past weekend.
It is another comedy / kung fu / action movie from the stable of Stephen Chow. In this case it is a marriage of football and kung fu through the creation of a football team of ex-Shaolin adherents.

Each man has a specialty as revealed by their name: Mighty Steel Leg Sing, Iron Shirt Tin, Light Weight, Lightning Hands and Hooking Leg.

The female interest is played by Zhao Wei as a kung fu master who bakes buns for a living.

We have the traditional good vs evil, or in this case the hopelessly innocent and ignorant vs greedy, nasty evil. This plays out on the soccer field, with the story starting there and the action finishing there.

The humour is definitely off-the-wall material. It moves between the juvenile to sly spoofing. It is nearly all physical humour, as dubbing into a different language tends to lose the subtle language jokes. So unless you are a fluent speaker of Chinese and are watching an original version don’t expect subtle puns.

While this was quirky, cute and funny, it was also slightly silly and a bit too juvenile for me. I would have to rate this a 2 out of 5.
If you want a good laugh, with a bit more to it, I would recommend seeing Stephen Chow’s later work – Kung Fu Hustle – which in my opinion is far superior without losing the same sort of humour and charm.

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