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Shaolin Soccer (2001)


Shaolin Soccer is a wonderful mashup of Kung Fu, Soccer, and early oughts CGI. Stephen Chow wrote, directed, and stars as Mighty Steel Leg Sing. He is a down on his luck Shaolin Kung Fu expert when soccer finds him. He must assemble the other disciplines of his training class to take on Team Evil and win the prize money.

This film is as ridiculous as all that sounds but is much better than you might think. I was unaware of its existence until I watch it. It is a parody of both Kung Fu and sports films. There is a love interest that does not go how you would expect. A lot of parody films are not worth watching but this one stands out. It is made by a fan of both genres and hits all the right beats; tongue firmly planted in cheek the entire time.

The soccer play is like nothing you have seen before. Kung Fu uses all parts of the body. The CGI is bountiful and looks like you would expect when shoehorned into these scenes. All of it adds up to a film that is not going to continue to age, but instead, it will be there waiting for you, sealed for freshness, anytime you need a quick 90-minute distraction.

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