Shaolin Soccer (2001)

Directed by
Stephen Chiau achieves transcendence
Reviewed by Simon on 2003-03-07

Stephen Chiau is a visionary artist, and a comic genius. Even though I'm told I miss half the humour by not understanding Cantonese, his films are still the funniest movies I know of - yet they also (mostly) have a depth and heart that are greater than most. SHAOLIN SOCCER is certainly not his funniest movie, but I think it's his most rounded and accomplished.

It's embarrassing how poorly it has been handled by Miramax in the US, effectively killing a sure-fire blockbuster hit and ruining Stephen Chiau's chances of becoming a household name in the US (not that he cares, hopefully). That the film went on to become one of the most popular Hong Kong movies in the West despite Miramax's efforts is a testament to the quality and the universal appeal of a martial arts sports underdog action comedy.


Action Director