Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons


One of the undisputed Chinese masters of offbeat comedy, Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle) returns with an action-packed love story about competing demon hunters vying for the same conquests. The bumbling Tang Sanzang takes the stage as the perfect anti-hero. Armed with a book of children’s nursery rhymes, he’s been taught by his Buddhist master in the ways of demon hunting, a talent that he hasn’t yet fully harnessed. Ambitious and eager to prove himself, Tang sets off into the world to encounter a vicious array of monsters in all shapes and sizes, from a village-crushing fish to a gluttonous pig monster. Failing miserably at his demon-conquering quest, the unequipped Tang is continuously forced to turn to the beautiful and mysterious Miss Duan for assistance. But as the adventure races at high speed through several types of traditional Chinese action and fantasy pics, it becomes abundantly clear that Miss Duan has her own motivations for helping Tang, which will all be revealed as the story culminates in a spectacular showdown with the conniving Monkey King. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, already a huge box-office hit in China, marks Chow’s first film in five years, and it’s a triumphant return to the director’s chair. His high-energy slapstick style is on full display here, offering the best of his talents in utilizing special effects and lush production design to support crazed, vaudeville-esque gags. Brimming with creativity, this is a deeply hilarious and fun-filled adventure that colud only have erupted from the mind of Stephen Chow. (Dir. by Stephen Chow, 2013, China, in Mandarin with subtitles, 110 mins., Rated R, Magnet Releasing) Digital