Shaolin Soccer (full movie)
Shaolin Soccer is a 2001 Hong Kong comedy film co-written, directed by and starring Stephen Chow. A former Shaolin monk reunites his five brothers, years after their master’s death, to apply their superhuman martial arts skills to play soccer and bring Shaolin kung fu to the masses.
In 2008 a sequel, produced by, but not starring Stephen Chow, was released entitled Shaolin Girl. Very few of the cast from the original film made an appearance.
The first of a four volume Shaolin Soccer Comics manhua was published in Hong Kong roughly nine months after the film originally premiered in 2001. The characters were drawn with large manga-like eyes and cartoonish bodies, but the artists were careful to retain the likenesses of each actor who portrayed them.
Sing (Stephen Chow) is a master of Shaolin kung fu, whose goal in life is to promote the spiritual and practical benefits of the art to modern society. He experiments with various methods to inform the modern world about shaolin kung fu, some of which include comedic song and dance routines, but all bear no positive results. He then meets “Golden Leg” Fung (Ng Man Tat), a legendary Hong Kong soccer star in his day, who is now walking with a limp, following the treachery of a former teammate Hung, now a rich businessman.
Sing explains his desires to promote the modern uses of kung fu to Fung, who initially is unconvinced with Sing’s idea and brushes off his pleas. When Fung realizes Sing has superior muscular power in his right foot, however, he offers his services to coach Sing in soccer. Sing is compelled by the idea of promoting kung fu through soccer and agrees to enlist his former Shaolin brothers to form a team under Fung’s management.
Reuniting with his fellow Shaolin brothers, who have since led separate and busy lives, Sing and Fung attempt to put together an unbeatable soccer team, albeit after much persuasion and initial rejection by the other brothers. However, Fung is keen on proving his skills, and in order to turn Sing and his players into real soccer athletes, he invites a vicious team, consisting of local thugs (some of whom Sing had encountered previously) to play against them in an exhibition match; rather than score points, the thugs proceed to give the Shaolin team a brutal beating. When all seems lost, the Shaolin disciples reawaken and utilize their special powers, dismantling the other team’s rough play easily. The thugs then give up, and ask to join Sing’s team. Empty Hand uses his super speed to catch objects kicked at him.
Before Sing plays soccer, he meets Mui (Vicki Zhao), a female baker with severe acne who uses T’ai chi to make mantou. Despite her appearance, Sing regularly visits her and even takes Mui to look at very expensive dresses at a high-end department store after hours. The theme from Stephen Chow’s earlier King of Comedy (1999 film) is also playing in the background as store music. She soon forms an attachment to Sing and even gets a makeover in an attempt to impress Sing. However, this backfires when the excessive amount of make-up used (reminiscent of Anita Mui’s 1980s image) gives her an almost ghoul-like appearance. When Mui reveals her feelings to Sing, he tells her he only wants to be her friend. This revelation, coupled with the constant bullying from her overbearing boss, leads Mui to disappear.
The newly formed Team Shaolin enters the open cup competition in Hong Kong, where they chalk up successive and often ridiculous one-sided victories. They end up meeting ‘Team Evil in the final. Team Evil, helmed by none other than Fung’s old nemesis, Hung, who assembled a squad of players who have been injected with an American drug, granting them superhuman strength and speed, making them practically invincible. Team Shaolin, which had steamrolled their earlier opponents, are brought back to reality when Team Evil’s amazing capabilities prove more than a match for them. At a critical moment, when Team Shaolin’s Empty Hand and Iron Shirt are severely injured during the match, Mui reappears with her head shaven and her face free of acne to keep goal for Team Shaolin.
In preparation for his final and most powerful attack, Team Evil’s striker leaps into the sky and summons dark demonic energy, turning the ball into a glowing orb. Mui slowly takes up the T’ai chi single whip posture to guard against the threat and channels her qi in the form of a Yin-yang symbol. When he kicks the fiery ball, it explodes towards Mui, but she leaps back and redirects the attack by twirling around and spinning it on her finger. Mui and Sing combine their martial skills and rocket the ball down field with so much force that it creates a horizontal tornado, which tears the ground and sucks up everything in its path. The ball plows through Team Evil’s goal post and destroys half of the stadium. The scene pans out with Sing being thrown into the air in celebration as the trophy is presented to him and his team.
A newspaper article then shows, Hung being stripped of his title of soccer chairman and sent to jail for five years, while Team Evil players are permanently banned from playing soccer professionally. With people all over the world becoming aware of and practicing kung fu in their daily lives, Sing’s dream is finally fulfilled. (wikipedia)
Shaolin Soccer Trailer
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