Computer generated special effects have seldom been so giddy as in Shaolin Soccer
, a gleeful fusion of kung fu and a classic Bad News Bears
sports story. A former soccer star--whose "golden leg" was broken by a hired mob--assembles a team of former students of Shaolin martial arts, whose assorted skills (indicated by their nicknames, like Mighty Steel Leg and Iron Head) lend themselves to the swift interplay of the world's most popular game. Along the way, the team's leader (Hong Kong comic superstar Stephen Chow) meets a sticky bun baker (Vicki Zhao) whose kung fu is the equal of any of his teammates. Shaolin Soccer
is supremely silly--in the final match, their opponents are called Team Evil--but that's part of the fun. American movies rarely achieve this perfect balance of the absurd and the sincere. A delight. --Bret Fetzer
Fusing ancient martial arts with hard-hitting physical comedy and the high-flying energy of competitive sports, 'Shaolin Soccer' is written by, directed by and stars Stephen Chow. Dedicated Shaolin practitioner Sing (Stephen Chow) is determined to re-unite his brothers to apply the ancient art of Shaolin to a modern sport. With the help of ex-football champion, Fang, the group of unlikely footballers are whipped into shape and train hard to earn a place in the National Football Tournament. The brothers battle their way through the rounds with unusual moves such as 'Iron Head' and 'Hooking Foot', getting closer and closer to the ultimate challenge of the National final. It is her that they will face Team Evil - the most ruthless team ever assembled.