Monday, June 29, 2015

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons 西游·降魔篇

 Released Year: 2013
Directed by 周星馳 Stephen Chow

Casted by:
文章 Wen Zhang as 陳玄奘 Tang Sang Zhang
舒淇 Shu Qi as 段小姐 Duan
黄渤 Huang Bo as 猴妖 Sun WuKong
羅志祥 Show Luo as 空虛公子 Prince Important
李尚正 Lee Sheung Jin as 水妖 Sand Monk
陳炳強 Chen Bing Qiang as 豬妖 KL Hog
The movie takes place before Tang Sanzang got his disciples and embarked on the Journey to the West.

A young village girl plays by the river and her father frightens her by pretending to be a fish demon, although he is then killed by a mysterious underwater creature. A Taoist priest kills a giant manta ray and insists the demon is dead. Buddhist demon hunter Sanzang appears to warn the animal is not the true demon but is violently ignored. The demon reemerges and kills a number of villagers but Sanzang is able to beach the fish-like demon, which turns into a man. Sanzang then opens a book of nursery rhymes and begins to sing to the man. The man feels harassed and attacks Sanzang but another demon hunter, Duan appears and captures him in her cloth, turning him into a puppet. Sanzang reveals to Duan that his master taught him a humanist approach and to use nursery rhymes to coax goodness out of demons, a tactic Duan scoffs at. Disillusioned, Sanzang meets back up with his master and bemoans his lack of capabilities in comparison to more aggressive demon-hunters such as Duan. His master reaffirms his philosophy of trying to reform evil demons and sends him off again, telling him to find "enlightenment."

A couple enters an empty restaurant but the chef reveals himself to be a pig demon and kills them. Sanzang comes to the same restaurant, this time apparently filled with people. However, Sanzang sees through the illusion and recognizes them as reanimated corpses of the demon's victims, as well as the demon's iconic nine-pronged weapon. Sanzang gets into a battle with one of the corpses but Duan arrives and destroys all of them. Duan then battles the demon. In the ensuing battle, the building collapses and Sanzang and Duan retreat as the demon is momentarily injured. Duan then develops a strong limerence towards Sanzang after being impressed by his selfless ideals. She wishes to kiss him, but he quickly flees, not wishing to deal with romantic love in his quest for nirvana.

Sanzang's master advises him to tame the Monkey King demon Sun Wukong (trapped by Buddha) to subdue the pig demon. That night, he is captured by a gang that had also subdued Duan. It is later revealed to be a ploy orchestrated by Duan to trick Sanzang into having sex. After Sanzang rejects her again, she has him imprisoned. The pig demon reappears and injures Duan but is chased off by a trio of rivaling demon-hunters. Duan views Sanzang's concern for her injuries as a romantic attraction. After Sanzang refuses her advances again, she destroys his book of nursery rhymes and he promptly leaves.

After days of traveling, Sanzang finally discovers the hole where Monkey King was trapped in for five-hundred years. Monkey King informs him to use a dancer under the full moon as bait. Duan appears and volunteers to dance. The pig demon appears and falls into Monkey King's hole, turning into a miniature pig, which Duan turns into a puppet. Duan then gives both the fish and pig puppets to Sanzang and offers her golden ringed weapon as an engagement band, but he rejects her again. She leaves after returning his nursery rhyme book, which she had pieced back together, although at random due to being bad at reading.

Monkey King successfully tricks Sanzang into removing the seal on his prison. The three demon hunters appear to catch Monkey King but he kills them all after a brutal fight. Injured, Sanzang then begins to pray to Buddha, and in retaliation Monkey King rips the hair from his head. Duan arrives to save Sanzang, enraged and attacks but the Monkey King mortally injures her. Sanzang finally tells Duan he loves her. Monkey King proceeds to destroy her body, but Sanzang is able to summon Buddha, when it is revealed that Duan accidentally reassembled the words of his book into those of the Buddha Sutra. Buddha, in vast form, defeats Monkey King with the palm of his hand. Sanzang then places Duan's golden ring atop Monkey King as his iconic restrictive headband.

Sanzang tells his master that his suffering due to Duan's loss has helped him to enlightenment. Sanzang is then instructed to journey west(India) for the Buddhist sutras of Leiyin Temple, and it is shown that the Water Demon, Pig Demon, and Monkey King have been tamed and turned into humans named, respectively, Sandy, Pigsy, and Sun Wukong. As they hike across the desert, Sanzang looks across the sand and sees an image of Duan.
 L² Scored: 6.5/10 

L² Comment:
I understand that Stephen Chow wanna make his own version of Journey To The West, but this is very much different from the original fiction. And from the movie, we can see that Stephen created some characters which are similar from his old Journey to the West movie back in 1994. Wen Zhang hairstyle and dressing is exactly the same as per his old wukong character, ShuQi in the other hand portrait the similar character like Athena Chu has acted before. Not a big fans of this movie, but no doubt the graphic effect is not bad~ but will not consider to watch it again~  

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