Shaolin Soccer (2001)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2005-09-08
Summary: One of the best comedies...
In the annual China Cup soccer tournament, there is one clear favorite. The
Evil Team, run by Hung (Yin Tse) a former player who cheated and scammed his
way to the top, has the best players and the all the behind-the-scenes
connections to make sure they win the tournament hands down. Many years ago,
one of the best players in the league, Golden Leg Fung (Man Tat Ng) accepted
money from Hung and intentionally lost the game on a penalty kick. The enraged
fans rushed the field and attacked Golden Leg, breaking his limbs and ruining
his career forever. Years later, after being fired as an assistant from the
Evil Team, he happens upon Sing (Stephen Chow), a former Shaolin student who is
determined to teach Kung Fu to the masses. Fung sees the soccer potential in
Sing and his Iron Leg technique, and decides that forming a team for the
tournament will be the perfect vehicle to help Sing show the people the power
of Shaolin Kung Fu. Sing goes and rounds up his former classmates from the
temple, each who have a special fighting technique that translates into a skill
in soccer. Once the team is formed, they enter the tournament, setting up for a
final showdown with Hung and his Evil Team.

Shaolin Soccer is one of the most surprising and enjoyable Hong Kong films I ve
seen in quite awhile. All of the performances, especially Stephen Chow s, are
fantastic, and allow the viewer to get completely wrapped up in the story and
genuinely care about how the team does in the tournament. Each of the Shaolin
players showcase a special technique, such as Hook Leg and Formless Hand, and
it s hilarious to see how they incorporate them into the game. Although the
special effects are somewhat raw, they add to the tongue-in-cheek feel of the
story and don t detract at all from the film.
Shaolin Soccer was the highest grossing film in Hong Kong for 2001, and
bolstered by this, Miramax has decided to release Shaolin Soccer in the states
this summer. Unfortunately, there will be some scenes edited out and the
soundtrack redone, so if you can grab a copy of the Hong Kong released DVD, now
is the time to get it. A movie that can be watched and enjoyed multiple times,
Shaolin Soccer should be at the top of your list of films to see.


Reviewer Score: 8