A Chinese Odyssey: Part One – Pandora’s Box (1995)

A Chinese Odyssey: Part One – Pandora’s Box (1995)

Released: 1995
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Genre
Director: Jeffrey Lau
Starring: Kar-Ying Law, Man-Tat Ng, Stephen Chow, ,
Run time: 115 min
IMDb: 7.7/10
Country: Hong Kong
Views: 25778


Fantasy adventure about the arrival of Buddhism in China. When the Goddess of Happiness tosses the Longevity Monk and his disciples out of heaven (because the Monkey King tried to attain immortality), the Monkey King is reincarnated as the Joker. He now spends his time chasing two jealous women. When one of them is dying, the Joker goes back in time in an attempt to save her.
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User Reviews: First off let me say that I watched this movie not under the best circumstances. I downloaded it from Piratebay and was watching it on my Media Player when I realized within the first 2 minutes that the subs were awful. There were many English typos and because of that it seemed to be a poor translation. HOWEVER the acting was so good and the scenes so good that even with rudimentary dialog (that is to say basic translations) it still made me laugh quite a lot and I can’t remember when was the last time I enjoyed a movie THIS MUCH! It’s been SO long! This must be one of my favorite movies. Top 10 at least. Maybe even top 3 if I dare say so- but the problem with saying so and with saying it is absolutely one of my favorites (and it is) is that I am not sure many others will understand why it is one of my favorites or will even care to understand. It is one of my favorite movies for a number of reasons. Let me tell you why.

1) It kept me in suspense. I am familiar with Goku the monkey king and how he was mischievous and had to pay penance for his sins and play a good guy for a while to gain freedom or whatever. That is as far as my knowledge of Goku the monkey king goes, oh and I know he is supposed to have a circlet and lance and was reminded of that later. Big deal, right? Wrong. This movie told me a story I have never been told before and kept me wildly guessing and entertained throughout! It is like a fairy tale. A very good fairy tale to movie translation. A very good play of sorts. What I enjoy about it the most is that I went into it not knowing what to expect. I thought it was about Buddhism? hello? but instead it was about….Well. It’s hard to put into words. Read my first sentences about what I knew of the story of the monkey king. That much in this movie is still true. However there are many things I did not know that this movie tells and because my life is so boring and most things predictable (that is to say most movies, video games have predictable plot lines) this was a movie with nice twists and turns that got me to be interested in story-telling and cinema again. And boy did it get me interested again in a big way! I am in awe with how good the writer(s) must have been- the original writers that is to say who came out with the skeleton of this story because there is some wild stuff in here.

2) This movie is surprisingly funny. Actually I had another 2 and 3 in mind as to why this movie is one of my favorites but forget them both. Oh yeah! It reminds me of the wild and wacky stuff I used to watch as a kid in it’s creativity! Namely the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. If you’re a 90’s kid like me and grew up on that show you may actually love this. It’s similar because there is martial arts and funny bad guys and action scenes in this. Also the special effects are old school with make-ups and costumes, none of that CGI stuff. I can appreciate the old ways because it doesn’t really detract from the story or acting here and that is what’s strong.

I suppose people may give this a 7 or 8 instead of a 10, maybe even worse, but I am not too concerned about that. I know why others may not like this (because it’s too foreign, or they are too busy to appreciate it’s intricacies, or they don’t find it funny, whatever the reason someone may not like this, maybe they have heard the story differently and have a preconceived idea of how it should be, who knows, but I had fun watching this and that is why I watch movies to begin with. To have fun. To forget life for a bit. Watch it if you want to be entertained and are not scared of Chinese films as an American or if you can laugh at silly faces, voices, and remarks.


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Public on January 26, 2021

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