After watching (and love, love, loving) Kung Fu Hustle, I was eager to watch director/star Stephen Chow's previous film, Shaolin Soccer. I finally did. It was a fun movie, but nowhere near as good as KFH.
The plot, which centers around a poor, young, apparently homeless man's quest to make Kung Fu more popular, which coincides with an former football player's desire for redemption, is silly, of couse. But then, silly appears to be Chow's stock and trade. This is by no means a bad thing. KFH was silly, and it was also sublime. But Shaolin Soccer isn't as beautiful a film, and certainly isn't nearly as funny. Even the romance isn't nearly as touching.
The film has some brilliant moments, and a kickass ending, though. It may be that I should have seen it before watching Chow's later, and much better film. It was fun, that's for sure. Decent flick. Check it out on TV or rent it if you want some harmless fun, with Kung Fu, sports, and laughs. But don't forget to check out Kung Fu Hustle when it hits American screens on the 22nd, and Israel (when and if it ever does).