Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons

Rated PG-13 110 minutes 2013

Kung Fu Hustle was an absolute gas, and it’s disappointing that we’ve had to wait so long to dip back into the mind of triple-threat Stephen Chow. It’s mostly worth it, though, thanks to the off-the-wall and oh-so-Chow Journey to the West. The source material is one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels, which is given a thoroughly modern and madcap scrubbing by Chow and co-director Derek Kwok. Zang (Zhang Wen) is a demon hunter who must defeat an ever-intensifying cavalcade of villains, culminating in a confrontation with the Monkey King. The stunt work and ingenuity of the choreography is really what you’re watching here, and it’s very good stuff. The story is easy enough to follow, but like a lot of action movies, Journey seems guilty about how much action there is, saddling itself with unwanted time for a bare-bones narrative.

Film Credits

Director: Stephen Chow and Chi-kin Kwok

Producer: Stephen Chow, Ping Dong, Sanping Han, Ellen Eliasoph, Ivy Kong, Zhonglei Wang and Dajun Zhang

Cast: Shu Qi, Zhang Wen, Bo Huang, Yu Xing, Show Luo, Shing-Cheung Lee, Bingqiang Chen and Sihan Cheng

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