The Monkey King (2014)

2014 Chinese New Year release The Monkey King is rollercoaster ride that is distracting as well as delightful.  I didn’t dislike it as many reviewers had, mostly because I went into watching this as a movie meant for kids ages 5-12.  With that mindset it’s no worse than many kids movies you see come out of the West.

The effects are pretty and shiny to look at, they are not super realistic, more spectacular which also fits with the age bracket I feel the movie will respond to.  The cast is all star and I have no complaints about their acting at all. The fight scenes are also pretty and I felt a different approach than Donnie Yen has ever choreographed in the past so that was interesting.  His portrayal of the Monkey King was wonderful and he didn’t use any Monkey Kung Fu like you find in other movies featuring Sun Wukong.

At a 120 minutes long it can get a bit tedious but I suggest to just relax and look at all the eye candy and enjoy it.  Must have been amazing in 3D

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Donnie Yen (Drunken Tai Chi, Seven Swords, The Lost Bladesman, Wu Xia) as Sun Wukong, the Monkey King and Action Director

Chow Yun-fat (Postman Strikes Back, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Confucius) as the Jade Emperor

Aaron Kwok (The Storm Riders, The Storm Warriors, The Monkey King 2) as Bull Demon King

Joe Chen as Princess Iron Fan

Peter Ho (Sword Master, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon TV Series, The Legend of Lu Xiaofeng TV series) as Erlang Shen

Kelly Chen (The Monkey King 2, Infernal Affairs I & III, Tokyo Raiders) as Guan Yin

Cecilia Cheung Pak-Chi (Shaolin Soccer, The Legend of Zu, The White Dragon, The Legendary Amazons) as Nüwa [cameo]

Gigi Leung (7 Assassins) as Chang’e

Xia Zitong  as the Nine-tailed Vixen

Louis Fan (Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils 1997, The Bride with White Hair 2012, Ip Man 1 & 2) as Juling Shen

Eddie Cheung (Running on Karma, The Bare-Footed Kid, Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils 1982, The Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain 1999) as Li Jing, the Pagoda-wielding Heavenly King

Calvin Cheng (Ip Man 1 & 2) as Nezha

Him Law (The Monkey King 2) as Muzha

Liu Hua as the Dragon King of the East Sea

Li Ching as the Green-haired Monkey King

Irene Wang as Fairy Caiyun

Hai Yitian as Subhuti

Cathy Leung as Fairy Caixia

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