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Review Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons a.k.a. Xi you xiang mo pian (2013)

genre: fantasy, action

Stephen Chow's third involvement in a production concerning novel Journey to the West. His first two were as an actor in A Chinese Odyssey Part One: The Pandora's Box and A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella. Now Stephen Chow has written, directed and produced Journey to the West but does not star in it. Don't worry though because he is still very much present. His unique style of comedy that is universal can't be denied. But also his ability to seamless play around with genres to offer more than just comedy shows his brilliance. In this loose adaptation the focus is more on the monk Tang Sanzang who is struggling to get enlightenment. However The Monkey King is featured and how. I don't think I have seen him being depicted as vicious as he was in here which was a welcome surprise. The beginning also is quite hard hitting if you aren't prepared for it. It sets the tone and promises great things that will be delivered on. That being said though, at one point though the movie does lose steam a bit where it becomes clear that Journey to the West actually has not much story or it does not become apparent where the story wants to go. However this lack of is compensated by some wonderful and very enjoyable action and fantasy sequences. Is it on par with Chow's previous work? In many ways it is. In other ways it is not. People who were expecting more like Shaolin Soccer or Kungfu Hustle will be disappointed. To me this did not matter that much since I had a blast watching this from the moment it started until it ended. 


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