Film – The Monkey King

Film – The Monkey King

2014 – seen on board Finnair from Hong Kong

When flying to Asia, I generally look out for world cinema in general and Japanese films in particular. Instead, this caught my eye. If you’re of my generation, you may remember Monkey on TV on Friday evenings, in which case you’ll gain a nostalgia kick from this too.

In that same action-fantasy style, this depicts the story of Sun Wukong, a shape-changing, demon-fighting happy-go-lucky monkey/man hybrid. He is taken under the wing of Subhuti – I guessed a holy man – who trains him as he is deemed to have special powers and could be the key to fixing the feud between Bull Demon King and Jade Emperor, the ruler of heaven.

The latter had a chance of killing the demon, however,  the emperor’s sister has fallen for him and begs his life to be spared. And so she and the demon king are living unhappily ever after in Flaming Mountain waiting for an opportunity to go into battle with heaven again.

Add to the cheeky monkey mix the long-lost childhood friend, a shape-shifting fox and a goddess that turns into powerful crystals – there is plenty to keep me entertained in this fast-moving flick on the small screen.

The Monkey King uses the same ‘magic’ as films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Everyone has fighting skills, lives for hundreds of years and most crucially to make it fun, can fly. Maybe next time I’ll try and catch The Monkey King 2 and 3.

6½/10

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