Shaolin Girl

26 06 2008

Rating: PG
Running time: 113 minutes
Opens: 19 June 2008, Now Showing

Some info:
1) Wiki
2) IMDB Profile
3) FestiveFilms Official Site (English)
4) Official Site (Japanese)

While advertisements [at least on radio (I listen to too much of YES933 liao…)] mention that Stephen Chow is a producer of the show, there is no indication of any sorts in the entire movie. Maybe it’s an advertising gimmick, or maybe for some reason [cough cough] he doesn’t want to be named.

Perhaps this movie is trying to achieve too much – by wanting to have connections and relations to Shaolin Soccer, as well as wanting to have their own Japanese feel to the movie. The outcome? Just weird, very weird.

Let’s see, even from the beginning of the movie, it already has this very weird [but somewhat amusing] feeling. So the movie starts from supposedly the Shaolin temple, where Rin [played by Shibasaki Kou] graduates after 3000 [weird number] days of training. Never mind that she has to speak Mandarin [although it’s kinda weird], but why get Japanese actors to act as the Shaolin monks as well?! My gosh, they must be the most horrible Mandarin speaking Shaolin monks I’ve ever seen in a movie/drama. I guess most of the audience are Chinese, because we couldn’t help but giggle at the very funny accent and attempt in pronouncing the words. Thank goodness there were subtitles! Made understanding A LOT easier. Go figure >.<

As opposed to Shaolin Soccer, there’s also a sports featured here, which would be lacrosse. Rin is dragged to join in as an agreement between Min Min [played by Kitty Zhang, the teacher in CJ7] and herself, where Rin can only get to teach Shaolin Kungfu only if she joined the [S I U] university lacrosse team. However, lacrosse doesn’t get much attention like in Shaolin Soccer [well, this isn’t shaolin lacrosse =X] in the main movie content. It gets full attention during the entire credits though, hence making most of the viewers to stay behind to sit through the credits as well as watch some lacrosse action [kungfu and special effects powered though]. Oh btw, Kitty Zhang can speak Japanese somewhat well, considering she has quite many lines to speak. Definitely way better than those monks trying to speak mandarin by a long shot.

Also, we get to see 2 familiar faces from Shaolin Soccer, which is the big [fat] guy as well as the goalie! They *try* to add some comedy value, but most of the time it just fails spectacularly. Oh yah, they get to speak canto too, but at least they sound right. Another attempt failed! Well, they also do get to try to speak Jap, but their lines are a lot more limited [hence can die die go practise until sound decent?] and sounds a bit more weird than Kitty’s =D

Ok, let’s get to the villain of the show, before moving on to commenting about the fight scenes. And so, the baddie is the principal [or head or whatever] of the university [I can only rmb SIU on the jersey ><] that the lacrosse team belongs to. He’s [played by Nakamura Toru] apparently the leader [or chairman or CEO] of a bunch of apparently sinister-looking subordinates dabbling in various investments as well as talent allocation for various sports and activities. Come to think of it, I don’t seem to recall any occasion where he’s being called by his name throughout the entire movie. But anyway, the sinister/fishy looking business thing didn’t get very much attention other than the hinting of using underhand methods to “dispose” of a reporter who wrote an unfavourable article about the university’s practices. I suppose this was made to mirror the baddies in Shaolin Soccer who also used underhand methods to achieve what they want. But again, the presence of all these people just disappeared after a while and nowhere to be found ever again. Another failure!

Now, let’s get on to the fighting part. For the most part, there isn’t much fighting until the baddie got impatient in waiting for Rin to fight him and instead makes the first move and forces her to, well, action. And so, Rin ventures into the school compound in order to save a kidnapped Min Min and is greeted by groups after groups of fighters, either belonging to the various fight-related clubs in university, or just some “henchmen” mr. baddie has employed. But anyway the hordes of people seemed -a bit- like Kill Bill [or that’s what I rmb of it]. Rin doesn’t seem to fight very well anyway, or at least her actions and movements don’t seem impressive [although Shibasaki supposedly trained for this film. Probably for fitness and stuff bah…]. True enough, she has problems handling the huge group and the 2 Chinese stars come to her rescue and lets her proceed to “stage 2”.

The 2nd obstacle was rather lame. Or should I say, kinda insulting to all Bruce Lee fans out there. There’s this Bruce Lee-wannabe who gets knocked out with just ONE kick. But I suppose that gave Rin quite some EXP points to level up for stage 3! Let’s see, obstacle 3 part 1 involves fighting with 3 apparently skilled people each from Judo, Kendo and Wushu from the looks of it. Of course Rin can’t match up to 3 of them and gets knocked into some store room with brooms etc, as well as all the different dojos’ 招牌 Mr. baddie has defeated and realised her teacher’s dojo was one of them… [Sidetrack: Rin’s clothing doesn’t seem to get much dirt even though she’s knocked into a place that stores brooms and rags and stuff…]. Just when she begins her counterattack, the teacher in charge of administration [though not his usual self…] barges in and dismisses the 3 other dudes. Rin has a hard time, and can’t win until she powers up [got special effects of her power!! Orange colour…] and knocks the teacher off the tower. Oh yah, till the end of the movie, there’s no explanation as to why the teacher become so skillful [he can’t even win the big guy at all…] and berserk.

Yes, finally we arrive at the final boss after Rin passes through some trap-filled room. Min Min’s in a nice 旗袍 now [Mr Baddie so shiok ah, change her outfit =P], sleeping [unconscious lah!] nicely on a couch. I thought the final fight should be somewhat nicer, but again it is just weird. Suddenly we get to see Baddie’s punches and kicks have purple effects to them as well [boss also can power up one… he serious liao mah…]. And then, there’s this DEEP pool of water in the middle of the “stage” and suddenly both of them also know 轻功! Can stand on water one, or even LIE on the water surface [reminds me of naruto’s chakra training…]. Then basically, they can do all sorts of waves with the water [can even cut through lots of stuff], lots of knocking into the water and then coming up again. At least Mr Baddie’s clothes get wet, but RIn’s one just remain dry [her clothes super material]. Ok, but the most shocking thing is Rin’s ultimate move that subdues Mr. Baddie and even converts him into a good person. It’s a hug! And then goes into some dream/illusion state where it manages to touch Baddie’s heart and make him “wake up”.

Yah, it’s about time I finished with the story of the show. Lol, yeah what’s left is mainly the ending credits and people learning kungfu. Hehz. Oh, the theme song is not sung by Shibasaki but by Mihimaru GT, but I don’t think anyone bothers lah.

Well, I guess I’ve said enough above. You should understand my opinion of this movie by now. My take: 5.5/10.

p.s. I’m glad that I could roughly make out many keywords in the Jap lines. But I still can’t read Jap characters for nuts >.<

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4 responses

26 06 2008
ignorantsoup

I feel bored. Maybe shall watch this..hahahahahhahahaha……..

26 06 2008
jh

up to you… :)

27 06 2008
teqplayer

“Oh, the theme song is sung by Shibasaki but by Mihimaru GT, but I don’t think anyone bothers lah.” – typo?

anyway, to me, kitty zhang’s japanese really sounded very stiff, much like the jap-accented chinese sounded to us chinese.

to me, the only gd pt abt this whole affair is only the ending theme. lol. the director also tried too much to make it the standard japanese feel-good-sports/arts-movie-featuring-girls, tts y the weird outcome. the few repeated shaolin soccer references were also too lame. at least the eggs pun in ss were more funny. then again perhaps it was all toned down for the jp audience who may not tolerate the gross-medy style of chow.

28 06 2008
jh

ah yah typo, or rather left 1 word out. was trying to just finish off the entry. thanks for spotting…

stiff but at least can mostly tell what she’s speaking…

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