Well guys I made it safely to Korea, after what was an utterly agonizingly long journey (27 hours – more thanks to delays? It sounds even worse when I write it out and say it back to myself!)...but anyway, as always on long haul flights you find yourself watching things just to pass the time, often it is a great thing as you catch films that passed you by at the time but you had sort of wanted to see…however after the first few films you still find yourself sat there, with a suddenly narrower and less enticing set of options – after all, I couldn’t write anymore, as the Thai lady next to me had spilled orange juice all over my my notebook – I said it was fine, it obviously wasn’t fine, but I had to keep things friendly between us if we were to endure this 17 hour nightmare.
I had exhausted the “NEW RELEASES” category, so decided to dig around in the “INTERNATIONAL” category…possibly there would be some French art-house films, or a strange Scandinavian flick that may pique my interest. This was not to be – not when I say The Monkey King offered up as the best film going. I read the short description on what it was about, and was instantly hooked! Something about a monkey who becomes a king…or something…I guess the clue is in the name, but I just wanted confirmation of this. Without hesitation I hit that play button – the Thai lady looked up from her crossword, I could tell she was thinking “nice choice my friend, nice choice!” but we had that special kind of friendship where you don’t really have to say anything…the love is clear, without the need for stupid and pointless words. I nodded in confirmation and popped on my headphones.
DISCLAIMER: IF YOU WERE PLANNING ON WATCHING THE MONKEY KING THEN YEAH, PLOT SPOILERS OR WHATEVER…THE PLOT ISN’T ACTUALLY ON WIKIPEDIA, PROBABLY BECAUSE IT IS SO ERRATIC AND ALL OVER THE PLACE, I’M RAMBLING, SORRY. MY THROAT HURTS FROM ALL THIS SHOUTING, SO I AM GOING TO STOP WITH THE CAPITALS, HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND.
So the film begins with an explanation that there are three powerful entities that exist in the world; the deity, the demon, and heaven. Unfortunately the demon part of the equation is a total dick, and for no reason whatsoever is attacking the deity in heaven – he’s proper wrecking all of the lovely architecture and decor they have going on up there – and it is totally pissing off the deity crew. The demon has a big fire whip or something like that, no sword…errr…anyway, doesn’t really matter as the deity turns into a massive dragon and brays him all over the place – he is about to make the killing blow which would effectively make everything right in the universe, literally forever, but this girl stops him and says he will never do it again. The deity is blatantly a moron, and despite the fact he has lived forever has not learned that demons are probably prone to lying. Oh well.
After the fight we have a little look around, and everyone is a little disheartened that they will all have to do so much DIY to fix up heaven – it looks like utter shit and people are worried it will be an expensive job. To save time a beautiful lady called Nuwa sacrifices herself, by spinning around and turning herself into magical crystals which means that no one has to do anything at all, as heaven is magically fixed up – good times – one of the stones drops down from heaven though, and lands in a jungle…we then see a quick scene that shows the crystal has an embryo thing in it which then turns into a monkey. It was then that I assumed this was the monkey king we would be dealing with throughout this…how long is this…two hours, Jesus Christ. Anyway, then in a rather sweet scene a small white fox comes up to the crystal and looks at the monkey, the hold out their hands…almost touching…then…they touch, and BOOOOOM – out of nowhere the paw burns up in flames and goes shooting up to heaven without much explanation, and then turns into three wise messengers who tell this beardy guy he has to train this monkey as he may be something special in future fights against the demon population.
So the beardy guy comes down and sees the monkey in question, playing around with his monkey pals – one of which who has a massive penis for a nose, which honestly I feel needs to be talked about because I just don’t understand what was going on there whatsoever. Anyway, the monkey accidentally kills a butterfly, and starts to cry about it – but beardy heals it and is promptly told he is awesome (this was the literal translation!) Naturally after this they are the best of buds, so they go flying off someplace in the clouds on a giant seagull.
If any of this makes sense you are an absolute trooper.
Alright, so meanwhile a woman with a candle for a face has a scroll which she is showing the demon guy. It basically says something about the Monkey King being a hell of a guy, ooooh I am leaving that unintentional pun in! Ahem…so yeah, it says he’s great. All of the demon guy’s pals are a little skeptical, a rhino scratches his chin, as a huge bear nods but doesn’t seem convinced and then this huge guy who looks like that dude from The Goonies speaks up and is promptly thrown in a lava pool. Short cameo for him, but worth it I feel.
When it comes to the Monkey Kings training it is an absolute doddle, he doesn’t really take it seriously but picks up the 72 transformations quickly due to sheer natural talent. Everyone in the class is divided on their opinion of him, some people think he is a complete and utter asshole, whilst others thing he is just a bit of an asshole but largely fun to be around. Personally I wanted to cut my own throat due to how annoying I found the monkey impressions the actor was doing…lots of hehe-hoawww! haha-whooo! he-huh-he! Oh fuck off please. But I am one of those people who stick with films hoping they will just suddenly burst into life…usually this doesn’t happen, but I stick by my methods.
The Monkey King is shown the eye of Sauron by the beardy guy, which I am sure is a copyright violation, but no one seemed to mind. It is explained that it is fire, lightning, and a tonne of other terrible ways the Monkey King will die…but hey, if he survives them he gets to live forever. Not exactly a fair deal, so the Monkey King is shitting is pants. Beardy guy is all, “you’ll be okay”ish about it…but doesn’t offer much in the way of constructive help. Just flicks his beard around and says a big speech about immortality which just makes no sense. Lost in translation maybe…hey, speaking of which I am going to watch Lost in Translation after this…yeah…yeah I think I will…just…an hour and…err…loads to go…fuck.
So back in the Monkey Jungle all of the monkeys are really excited to have their best mate back around, they give him the catchy nickname of The Handsome Monkey King which he is naturally pleased with. However after the honeymoon period is over, penis nose is all “what about when you are not here? What do we do then? Go get some weapons and then we can fuck up people who wander into our bit of jungle!”
So the Monkey King dives into a magical pool to look, he is attacked by a giant fish which he kills and then brags about it to this fat mustache man who appears to be the emperor of the pool. Worst luck the fish was his bodyguard! Doh! Who would have thought it?! Eeee…well…anyway, they try to kill the Monkey King but he proves to be tricky, as he traps them in a giant bubble and then…errr, it all gets weird, I can’t remember – they give him some weapons and then –
After the announcement my screen went dead…and went back to a raw loading screen…I had to get the lady to come help me with it – “NO WATCHING FOR TWENTY MINUTES, OK?”
There is a God I guess. Let me just say, Lost in Translation is a great film…my Mother hasn’t stopped mentioning it since the first time I visited Asia…so I just nodded along although I hadn’t watched it myself…but yeah, great. I am sure it has nothing to do with the standard of the film I half-watched before it…no, no…not at all.
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