Coming to Blu-ray from Well Go USA Entertainment and director Cheang Pou-soi is the next story involving a mischievous tail wager with “The Monkey King 2.”
While on a journey to look for the sacred scriptures, Monk Tang Sanzang (Feng Shaofeng) is chased by a white tiger into a cave. There Sanzang finds Sun Wukong (Aaron Kwok) the Monkey King put under rock by the Mercy Goddess (Kelly Chen). Trying to free himself, a golden hoop finds its way on top of the Monkey Kings’ head.
In order to find the scriptures on the road to Yun Hai Xi, the Mercy Goddess tells Wukong that the only way to remove the hoop is to help the young Monk. Not happy in the slightest, Wukong knows he has no other choice.
Across the land the children live in fear as the White Bone Demon (Gong Li) kidnaps them. When she discovers that Sanzang is looking for the scriptures, White Bone decides to make a meal out of the Monk to become a permanent demon. That’s going to be quite a feat since Wukong is now Sanzang’s protector and can see through all her guises.
When Wukong makes Sanzang angry over what he sees as a senseless act, it opens up an opportunity for White Bone to take him away. It will take a serious battle against a demon army to stop the devastation to the humans. Joined by Zhu Bajie the Pig, Sha Wujing the Water Buffalo, the Wukong makes a stand.
But Sanzang makes a decision that changes everything and brings Wukong more understanding than he could ever have imagined.
At the Thunder Monastery everything becomes as it should be.
Shaofeng as Monk Sanzang is the calm in the middle of chaos. Wanting to follow the path and do what is right, he does clash with the Monkey King Wukong on several occasions but none more so than when it becomes necessary to stop him from being violent. Shaofeng is strong in the most subtle way.
Kwok as Monkey King Wukong is very hyper from the moment he is on screen to the very end. He certainly gives Sanzang plenty to deal with and, at the same time, giving the White Bone Demon’s gang reasons to want to get away from him. Kwok takes over the title role from Donnie Yen who played Wukong in the original “The Monkey King.” Kwok does an outstanding job!
Chen as the Mercy Goddess is absolutely stunning in voice and costuming. I just love the ethereal look of this character which shows that Chen not only embraces this role but gives it every bit of believability as the lovely Goddess.
Li as the White Bone Demon is an actress I have been watching for years. She is elegant, strong and gives this character every reason to have us freaking out over her. As I am a huge fan of the film “Raise the Red Lantern” as well as “Memoirs of a Geisha,” Li brings a stunning presence to “The Monkey King 2” and I loved watching every moment of her performance.
Other cast include Fei Ziang as King of Yun Hai Xi, and Lu Weu as the Evil Spirit Snake, Zi’er Qi as the Evil Spirit Bat and Miya Muqi as the Evil Spirit Pig.
Well Go USA Entertainment is an amazing company that brings the best of Action and Independent films from around the world. There format includes theatres, digital, cable and VOD along with Blu-ray. For more of what they have to offer go to www.wellgousa.com.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “The Monkey King 2” four tubs of popcorn out of five. In this second installment the story is rich in the telling, even richer in color and scope with moments of light heartedness. The Blu-ray also includes the bonus features The Making of The Monkey King 2 and trailer.
The ensemble cast brings adventure, drama and even a bit of humor now and then in its telling. It is a beautiful period piece and I can’t say enough about the costuming and set design. Both of those are large part of the story that whisks us away for one hundred and twenty minutes before we know that time has passed.
In the end — 500 years later the King is back!