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西遊記完結篇仙履奇緣 (1995)
A Chinese Odyssey Part Two - Cinderella


Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011


Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: JohnR
Date: 06/02/2007
Summary: Don't Watch It Once

I completely understand the previous reviews of CO2, but I believe they were all written after one viewing of the movie. Watch it again, then again. It actually makes sense.

CO2 continues the story from 1. The Monkey King (in the form of Joker) by using Pandora's Box had been desperately trying to go back in time long enough to stop his true love, Jing Jing (Karen Mok) from killing herself. But he ends up going back 500 years.

He then meets ZiXia (Athena Chu) a goddess in search of her true love. She'll know him when she meets him because he'll be the only man able to pull her sword from its sheath. She takes on Joker as she would a stray dog and immediately confiscates Pandora's Box.

This sets up the story for the rest of the movie: Joker (who now can see that he's actually the Monkey King) tries to get Pandora's Box back so that he can reunite with his one true love, Jing Jing. While ignoring the call of duty to the Monkey King.

Joker is absolutely true to Jing Jing, even spurning ZiXia's advances. He'll lie, scheme, and do whatever it takes to get the box (which comes into the possession of the Bull King). All for Jing Jing.

But wait. In a scene that goes by almost incidentally Joker has unsheathed ZiXia's sword. Which means, at least to her, that he is HER one true love.

It gets confusing because ZiXia has an evil twin sister who takes possession of her body seemingly randomly. And as a result of some magic gone awry four-five characters change bodies now and again. There are characters thrown in doing things we're not sure why, such as Bull King's wife and younger sister. And, at the end, we meet reincarnations of the main characters in their next lives. It's very difficult to keep things straight. I found it impossible in just one viewing.

And running along beside all this is the story of the Monk, Piggy, and Sandy, who are supposed to be getting together with Monkey to go off to India for the sutras. Which is the main line of the actual Journey To The East.

If it's so confusing, why bother to watch it? Several reasons. First, I didn't find it to be the thrown-together mess that some others did; it seems very well thought out and well-executed to me. Second, there are some very comical moments. Third, Stephen Chow is awesome. Fourth, Athena Chu's smile. Last, but not least for me, it's a terrific love story. Maybe I'm what they used to call an "80's man", but I was touched by that scene on the ledge at the end. If you go in looking for a whacky Stephen Chow vehicle, or an action movie, you'll probably be disappointed as well as confused. It's a love story with an understory of spiritual growth. Or maybe the other way around.

But you'll have to watch it several times. Not that it's deep, it's just very busy and there's little hope that you'll be able to keep it all straight one time through.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 12/07/2006
Summary: a journey to the weird...

jeff lau takes 'a journey to the west' and transforms it (almost beyond recognition?) into three strange hours of cinema, made up of two films...

now, if 'pandora's box' sounded confusing, 'cinderella' is.

joker has realised that he is the reincarnation of the monkey king, but he has been sent back in time, five hundred years, by pandora's box. now, he becomes embroiled with king bull, his sister and zixia (athena chu), whilst running into jing jing, jeung, longevity monk and monkey king's partners, pigsy and sandy.

there's unrequited love, joker's attempts to recover pandora's box and, if things weren't frying your brain enough, a host of characters swapping bodies...

yikes!

somehow, once again, it all kinda works out in the end, but only just. once again, there are laughs, some great costumes, fun special effects and general oddness, along with some ching sui-tung wirework thrown in for good measure.

i think i need to watch these both again...

what is quite annoying, considering the effort that appears to have gone into producing some really nice packaging (including a fancy photobook) and remastering the audio and video for this set, is that the subtitles are dire. they're by no means the worst i've experienced, far from it, but they are poor; filled with grammatical errors and what appear to be poor translations. now, you can get by, but with these two films, you'd think that they'd have made a bit more of an effort.

decent subtitles would probably inspire the kind of universal love for these films, that appears to be present amongst speakers of cantonese. as they are, i imagine that they will continue to nurture the same mixture of love, hate and indifference, that these films seem to find in wetern audiences.

personally, i like the films, but i'd rather be given the chance to really like them.


Reviewed by: senordingdong
Date: 06/27/2004
Summary: Completely confusing

I watched the two movies back to back. I really enjoyed the first one, but once the second one started everything became really confusing. What the heck happened to getting back his wife? I expected him to become the monkey king and then go back to the future to save his wife (whom I don't recall him ever actually getting married to). Instead, it goes off in a completely different direction and becomes a totally incoherent mess.


Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 06/01/2003
Summary: Ambitious and Confusing

"Confusing" is probably the first word that I would apply to the two Chinese Odyssey films (which were filmed and released back to back and can be considered as one 3 hour film to some degree, though thanks to a bit of time travel part 2 manages to be both a sequel and a prequel to part 1!). Part of the blame for the confusion has to go to the subtitles, which are not very well translated, but most of it is due to Jeff Lau's trademark "everything except the kitchen sink" approach to film making. There's a lot of characters (it's confusing even before they start switching bodies with each other), and the plot keeps darting off in different and unexpected directions, making it hard to follow. It's only loosely based on the Journey To The West story ("inspired by" is probably more appropriate - it shares a similar relation to its source material as ASHES OF TIME does to its).

"Ambitious" is definitely the second word I would apply to the film(s). Jeff Lau's time travelling thread weaving plot tries to bring together many themes and elements to say something profound about humans and their relationships. Due to the confusion factor, I have to say "ambitious" rather than "successful". Despite ripping off most of its soundtrack and a few ideas from Wong Kar Wai's ASHES OF TIME, the film doesn't manage to capture its deep thought and emotion provoking nature. Perhaps if I see it more times, and/or I spoke Cantonese (or a well subtitled version came out) it would have more effect on me though.

Although Stephen Chiau is undoubtedly the star of the films, his trademarked personality and humour are a little to the rear here, making it feel less like "A Stephen Chiau Film" than most of his pictures do. Actually the films aren't all that funny, though the expected nonsense and slapstick does crop up from time to time. I wouldn't consider the film(s) to be primarily a comedy though - especially towards the end, where the tone shifts ever more towards tragedy. Jeff Lau's underlying message is definitely that being a human is hard, even if you're an immortal or a monkey king.

By 1995 the wire-fu boom was well and truly over, and the fantastic style of action that Hong Kong developed was no longer a box office draw. I think this was Stephen Chiau's last wire-fu film, and one of the last produced in Hong Kong in the 90's. Ching Siu-Tung directs the action sequences, which are heavy on the stylised flying and twirling and fluttering style he developed. Maybe he was starting to run out of ideas by this point though, or there were just too many constraints given the nature of the film and the characters, as the action scenes aren't all that impressive. The grand finale features his trademark destruction of scenery on a truly remarkable scale, however.

Whilst I applaud its ambitiousness, the fact that I simply didn't understand a lot of what was going on (especially in part 2) did severely impede my enjoyment of the film. There are some films (many in the early 90's in fact) where not being able to follow the plot doesn't really detract from the enjoyment. Because of the film's ambitiousness it becomes a real issue for the Chinese Odysseys, however, and brings the score down to a 7/10. I suspect if I ever come to understand it more this score would rise quite a bit though.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 04/14/2002
Summary: bad

First was bad enough, but another one released just months afterwards was rushed and worthless.

Pointless, more toilet jokes, the average you can expect from Stephen Chow since he fell off a few years earlier.

Rating: 1/5


Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 08/26/2001
Summary: on the same level as the first - stupid

Similar to the first, but much funnier-until the end when the monkey comes out. Starting when the characters get stuck with eachother's bodies, everything just becomes a riot. You've got a 18 year old girl in the body of the big-eared pig with the voice of a little girl, and the stubborn monk begging for romance (because the girl is stuck in his body).

Silly, silly, and more silly. The famous Tang Seng (monk who initially decided to travel to the West) sings a 70s American love song in the jail ceil, and gets whacked in the head by his own stick. Those weren't particularly funny, just more Western/pop influences.

However, by the end, when the Monkey comes out in his real form, the humor suddenly stopped. I think he tried too much to be slick and cool. He was acting in a way that made me want to grab a sword & rip him apart. I can't quite describe it in words, but it was most irritating. If anyone thought the last 30 minutes was funny, we've gotta talk.

Again, the music reminded me of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and mainland folk movies about wars. The fighting is less than mediocre, but then again what else could you expect.

If you want to know more about what I thought of this film, see my review for part one.

[6/10]


Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 02/28/2001
Summary: OK

Unfortunately, this doesn't keep pace with the first one!! No where near as funny but worth watching because after watchign the first one, you goto see this even though it's not as good!!
Still funny scenes but not as many as the first

6/10

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: jfierro
Date: 12/21/1999

Doesn't have quite the energetic pace or cohesiveness of the firstpart. Here, Pandora's Box has sent Stephen Chow back in time by 500 years. While he struggles to return to his wife, a goddess (Athena Chu) takes an interest in him. Stephen spends the movie trying to reconcile the past, the present, and his destiny as the Monkey King. Some nice special effects and an ambitious movie, but tries to do a little too much.


Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

Quenlin (Stephen Chow) just wants to get back his "Pandora's Box" (which isn't a box); so he goes to Spider's Cave (where there aren't any spiders); meets a pretty evil twin; walks through multicolored fog and mood lighting; meets a koan-happy monk (the Monkey King's master), whose costume changes include an Indian mendicant, a Roman centurion, and a pharoah (he's also fond of singing The Platters' "Only You" in Chinese); falls in love with lovely Qunxia (the good half of the twins); and meets walking, talking dogs, rams, pigs -- and a powerful, eight-foot high bull-man; only to discover that he, Quenlin, is the Monkey King in temporary human guise, or will be, or what ever. Skull-explodingly confusing, but funny.

(3/4)



[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 7