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Review A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box a.k.a. Sai yau gei: Yut gwong bou haap (1995): Stephen Chow in a Journey to the West adaptation

genre: action, martial arts, fantasy, comedy

A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box is a fantasy martial arts extravaganza like A Chinese Ghost story. Just to give you an idea what to expect. The main character is Stephen Chow. He plays The Monkey King and Joker. Joker is The Monkey King reincarnated who doesn't know of his past life. It is through these roles where Stephen Chow shows his versatility as an actor. If you have seen some of his movies than you know what to expect. He always tries to combine humour, martial arts and drama. Maybe for some the humor will be a bit over the top. But Stephen Chow's humour is very visual and will appeal to many viewers. A few scenes made me laugh so hard I almost choked. I even dare to say that some scenes in this film outclass Kung Fu Hustle when it comes to comedy. And that one was hilarious. I liked how during these scenes the actors maintain straight faces and are very serious about what they are doing. You know like they did in the Naked Gun film series. To me that makes all of it even funnier. Another thing I liked that the comedy does not come at the expense of action. Of which you will have plenty of. Most of the martial arts is done with wire works though and in combination with fighting demons this is done beautifully. The special effects may look a bit cheesy compared to CGI to some, but are very enjoyable because most of the effects are used creatively. I personally prefer effects done this way since it shows that sometimes all you need is a little imagination to create movie magic. And Pandora's Box certainly is magical. In fact it's a fairytale you can enjoy over and over again. 

Read the review for the conclusion of this two parter.  

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