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A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella

Hong Kong 1994
produced by
Yeong Kwok-fai for Xian Film Studio
directed by Jeffrey Lau
starring Stephen Chow, Athena Chu, Lam Kit Ying, Karen Mok, Ada Choi, Law Kar-Ying, Ng Man Tat, Lee Kin-Yan
written by Jeffrey Lau, music by Zhao Ji-Png, Lowell Lo, stunt coordinator: Ching Siu-Tung

Chinese Odyssey, Monkey King, Monkey King (Stephen Chow)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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For this story's setup, please see A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box.

Thanks to overstretching the Pandora's Box' timetravel capacities, Joker (Stephen Chow), who has just learned he's the reincarnation of the Monkey King, has travelled 500 years back in time, to the time when the actual Monkey King (Stephen Chow as well) roamed the world. Back in time, he meets the lively Immortal Zixia (Athena Chu), who falls in love with him and wnts to marry him, but he is still in love with Jing Jing (Karen Mok) - which Zixia only believes after having gone inside of him to see his heart. Zixia has an evil sister though, Qingxia, and the two are caught in the same body, with Zixia controlling it by daytime and Qingxia at night.

Rather surprisingly, Joker then gets mixed up with the Longevity Monk (Law Kar-Ying) and his companions Pigsy and Sandy after the real Monkey King, their protector, got killed - but soon after that, the four of them are captured by King Bull, and Joker is supposed to marry his sister in order to get them out of there. This leaves Zixia, who learns about this, shattered, and she figures the only way to win Joker over is to agree to marry King Bull and wait for Joker to save her.

Much confusion ensues, also including Princess Iron Fan (Ada Choi), and Joker manages to get away ... and he meets Jing Jing, but 500 years before he last met her of course - and she again falls in love with him, and agrees to marry him, but when she enters his body to see his heart, she sees the mark that Zixia has left and leaves him.

Joker is left heartbroken, but only now does he realize he has to save Zixia - but to that end, he has to turn into the Monkey King, even if that means he will never again be able to love a woman ... and thus, in a big fight, Monkey King defeats King Bull and frees Zixia nd his companions, but then he is thrown into a different kind of future with the Monk and Pigsy and Sandy - and they continue their journey to the West.

 

An interesting narrative twist: This story continues the plot of A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box, but also, at least in part, sets it up. That said though, A Chinese Odyssey Part Two's plot is just about as confusing as Part One, and just as with the earlier film, this hardly seems to matter much, the film is more of a series of comedy and hilarious action and slapstick setpieces anyways, and wacky humour makes up for its narrative incoherence. That said though, in the finale, when Joker has to come to terms with being the Monkey King, the film somehow loses its drive and leans a bit towards the cheesy side. But then again, a film set in ancient China that has a monk singing Only You and an extended sequence warning about the dangers of the Open Sesame-routine can't be all bad now can it?

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD