Saiyűki (The Adventures of Super Monkey) (2007)
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Audience Reviews for Saiyűki (The Adventures of Super Monkey)
Good fantasy-adventure of the "irrepressible" Monkey King and his gang going to defeat the two evil brothers before they cast the world into eternal darkness. There are lots of excitement and funny on the fighting scenes between Monkey King and Silver King trying to take an 'orb' at the sky and on the ground for more than 10 minutes.
I watched this film tonight in Australia with the title Monkey Magic. Believe it or not, Japan was actually the first country to adapt the beloved Chinese fantasy tale Journey to the West to television in the 1970s with the cult hit Monkey (China would not produce its own television telling until the 1980s).
In fact, this film is the fifth remake and everybody noticed a new look for the main character - Monkey, played in the new series by Shingo Katori and his very blond hair. Katori says his new version of Monkey is a punk rocker, yelling about love. I will say this is definitely one of the most annoying interpretations of Son Goku. I'm certain that the main actor should take the full responsibility for the fact that "Monkey" has been reduced to a child-like creature who constantly screams everything he says, since Shingo Katori has played such childish characters before (horrible images of Nin-Nin come to mind). The actor overacts to an extreme, over-expressing every possible emotion and over-speaking every line. Sometimes it works, but, most of the time it just looks stupid.
I forgot to mention that this movie is known in Japan under the names Saiyuki, or the "Journey to the West". The best part about this film is that unlike recent drama adaptations, it works as an isolated story.
Australians noticed that the scenery of ancient China looks a little familiar... parts of the series were shot in New South Wales at Stockton Desert near Port Stephens and the Blue Mountains.
Director Kensaku Sawada and screenwriter Yuji Sakamoto created a well-paced adventure that entertains with amusing deadpan and slapstick comedy. However, the supposedly magical powers possessed by the main characters only conveniently appear halfway through the film, and the contrived attempts to work in lessons about friendship and teamwork with monologues are boring and misplaced... Still, if you ever have a chance to watch it, do that...
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