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Watch Journey To The West: The Demons Strike Back | Prime Video
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A worthy follow-up to Steven Chow's 2013 film, this one sticks closer to the Monkey King story and lacks it's predecessor's downbeat ending. Monk Tang is again the main character in this film, but there's plenty of Sun Wukong action as well. I was initially thrown off by the re-casting of the roles, but the actors do a great job. At least the gorgeous She Qi re-prised her role from the first film, if only for a brief cameo. The combination of writer/producer Steven Chow and writer/director Tsui Hark serves the film well. There is a lot of imagination and color on the screen at all time, and the film kept my attention at al times. And they even managed to sneak in the episode with the spider demons, which was the basis for the old Shaw Brothers' Monkey King film "The Cave of Silken Web!" Plus, there were plenty of times when I broke out in belly laughs, which I've come to expect from any of Steven Chow's films. I definitely enjoyed this film more than "The Monkey King 2" with Aaron Kwok, which was released around the same time. I have to state, though, that if you do not have at least a slight familiarity with the Monkey King story you will probably be lost watching this film.
Even as a Chinese viewer, the sequel is never as well made as the initial movie. Being the second film in the series, the casting changes since the first movie were already irksome, add onto it, the even sillier screenplay (which is saying a lot when contrasted with the silliness preset by the first movie).
Is it a bad movie? No. Does it require the suspension of disbelief as common to a Stephen Chow comedy? Yes. Should you be familiar with the tale of Journey to the West? Most definitely.
Otherwise it'll just feel like a special effect filled B-movie :(
It’s not really a sequel to Steven Chow’s movie in anything but name and a superficial borrowing from the first “Journey to the West” with some flashbacks from the first flick. The story, look, makeup, dialogue and characters don’t match the first one and the CG, soundtrack and cinematography don’t either. It’s an ok movie but it’s not directed by Steven Chow and doesn’t have the same level of humor and cleverness to it. It’s more like a B rate cash-in that Disney does with it’s straight to video sequels. If you get it, get it with that in mind. It’s not completely terrible but it’s not anywhere near the same league as “Kung Fu Hustle” or its predecessor.
Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2017
Humor, elaborate CGI action scenes, and colorful cast of demons, the 2nd movie in the chow journey to the west series is in many ways what you would expect if you enjoyed the first one. But while I did enjoy it, I would say its not quite as good as its predecessor. This is mostly due to scripting, where what proceeds doesn't correlate with what happens next. There's not much acting in the deception and without spoiling the whole first scene of the movie doesn't make sense in the context of the ending. Also the first one felt like a movie, and fantastic as the action sequences were, this outing feels more like a filler tv episode than a major arc (plot wise). I will say I have not read any of journey to the west so it is quite possible this is loyal to the original work so my review will only take the movie as the uncultured american watching it. Despite my nitpicks everything else that I liked about the first one is in here and with it the move is still quite enjoyable. The actors really nail the visual comedy providing performances that compliment the colorful and crazy world in which the story takes place. The Demons have different forms and the movie seems to spare no labor in transitioning them from one to the other as it sees fit. In the end what few flaws it has are eclipsed by the comedy and the set pieces which make the movie a fun journey indeed.
Comes off as a poorly-written, badly-acted martial arts fantasy with lavish visuals and $millions expended on costumes and sets. Much of the awkwardness surely derives from the poorly translated English voice-overs and stylistic differences between Asian and Western cinematography. A heavy "Bollywood" influence is evident, and the title is an obvious riff on (tribute to?) the Star Wars movie. Full of cringe-moments. Even so, fun in small doses, especially if you're acquainted with the source legend (the Monkey King story). Watch with friends who share a love of martial arts fantasies, fortified with lots of pizza and beer, and don't hesitate to interrupt it with snide remarks à la Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Bottom line: stupid fun.
Horrible sequel. Acting style is different from the original and not even the same characters but alot of flashbacks to the original movie which made it more obvious. Comedy in original was organic and flowed well... this release the comedy was contrived and forced out of context "just to be funny". I loved the original but I had to stop this one after 30 mins and throw it in the trash. Don't make the same mistake I did...
To paraphrase the great Rick Sanchez, this is a joyless cash grab. This film has no plot, no character development and no reason to exist. It is in no way shape or form like its predecessor. I lost nearly two hours of my life on this turkey. Just say no!