Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (西遊•降魔篇) is an action-comedy film directed by Stephen Chow and Derek Kok (Derek Kwok Chi-Kin). The movie was first announced in July 2011 and was released on February 10, 2013, in China. The film is a loose comedic re-interpretation of the Chine
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Stephen Chow and Derek Kwok revisit the Chinese odyssey story here with this spirited, fun but cgi heavy take. Story of a young demon hunter seeking Buddhist enlightenment while rebuffing the attentions of a beautiful fellow demon hunter is quite enjoyable made by the quite good turns by Wen Zhang and Shu Qi. Effects are quite good especially the final battle royale. Set up for eventual sequel is quite good.
For reasons I still cannot understand or coherently explain, I'm fairly certain I've never been more entertained by a movie than by Journey to the West. Unbelievably hysterical and just downright deranged more often than not. In other words, lovely. Bill Murray's high praise of Chow as a comedic god is only further justified through this film.
Balls to the walls crazy, Chow's fantasy material-arts epic is far from perfect but it's a blast! Chow knows how to make a set-piece. But when it slows down (w/ romance or drama), it doesn't do as well. But for a film w/ a bare-bones plot (it's essentially a prequel), it companies w/ it's great cast, hilarious jokes, & sheer anarchic imagination. Here's hoping to the sequel!
The first half of this movie is awe-inspiring and hilarious; but my enthusiasm dipped toward the second half and conclusion of the film. The CGI can be a bit discomforting to watch at times (it has an artsy, but unrealistic look that puts me out of the moment when I'm watching it); and Chow seems to be cutting plot devices from the same cloth as his other films, which made it seem to lack originality.
A very Stephen Chow origin story for characters that I mostly remember from children's audio cassettes. i.e., middling CG but decent comedic timing and more importance placed on plot than characterization. That said, the demons look good and the two leads do well, and I'd watch a sequel.