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Wu Kong

Opening Date
13 Jul 2017
PG Some Violence
123 mins
Mandarin with English & Chinese subtitles
Action, Drama, Fantasy
Derek Kwok
Eddie Peng, Ni Ni, Shawn Yue, Oho Ou, Zheng Shuang, Faye Yu, Qiao Shan, Yang Di
Sun Wu Kong (Eddie Peng), born on the Huaguo Mountain, has a heart of stone. A powerful general from Heaven, known as Hua Ji, aims to terminate him. Fortunately for Wu Kong, he is rescued by Bodhi and becomes his pupil.
Yang Jian (Shawn Yue) is offered an opportunity to become a strong God, however, there is a heavy price he needs to pay — he must kill the daughter of the Heaven Emperor’s rival. Meanwhile, Tian Peng (Oho Ou), Hua Ji’s bodyguard, is secretly ordered to investigate Wu Kong.
The three of them enter the Heaven school together, and their lives begin to change…..
By Yun-Huei  12 Jul 2017
Based on the online novel of the same name, one would need to throw all preconceived notions of what a movie about Sun Wukong (the Monkey God), for this sci-fi fantasy is nothing of the sort.
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Based on the online novel of the same name, one would need to throw all preconceived notions of what a movie about Sun Wukong (the Monkey God) would entail right out the window, to be in the right frame of mind to view the movie. It’s a strange origins movie of sorts, and its plot and tone are literally all over the place. Despite the recognisable faces in the cast, Wu Kong is a sub-par effort at best. 

Much of this seems to be caused by the ambitious take on the storyline - rather than focus on the known, Wu Kong chooses instead to touch on how the Monkey God became what he was at the start of the “official” Journey to the East tale. Yet there is so much slack in the storytelling that it is never entirely clear what exactly is going on.

While there is a simplistic story in the middle of it all, the choice to mire the tale in needless exposition, and failing to explain half of whatever’s going on only serves to frustrate even the most attentive audience member. I was unable to fully comprehend what’s going on, and it well and truly falls apart in the CG-heavy finale, so much so that I simply gave up on even trying. 

While there are half-decent CG and some fairly impressive costumes, for every positive there are a handful of negatives, which does not make this film a compelling choice when there are so many other films being released in this Summer window. Particularly questionable are the various romantic subplots found in the movie, some of which are so laughably shallow that it is surprising that they even bothered to try to establish these romantic plot threads, to begin with. There’s a complete lack of emotional veracity in the majority of these scenes and needlessly pads the film out to a way overlong 130 minutes.
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