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I Never Thought I'd See 'Shaolin Soccer' Happen in Real Life

By Petr Navovy | Social Media | February 8, 2024 |

By Petr Navovy | Social Media | February 8, 2024 |


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You know what’s crazy? This year it’ll be the twentieth anniversary of Kung Fu Hustle. Stephen Chow’s riotously funny and inventive martial arts comedy was a hit with audiences and critics alike back when it released in 2004. I lost count the amount of times I watched my DVD of it. It was impossible to be bored watching that film; you could spot new details and sight gags every time, and the sheer joy and sense of film making fun present in every scene was infectious.

Kung Fu Hustle was the slicker, bigger, and in general more ambitious follow-up to Chow’s previous film, 2001’s Shaolin Soccer. I watched both films again recently after a very long break, and had the time of my life—and it made me crave more Chow films! I started to wonder what had happened to the actor-director who was making such big waves on the global scene back in the early 2000s, and where he had disappeared to.

Nowhere, as it turned out. Chow has kept making films—mostly just as a director instead of starring in them too—since Kung Fu Hustle, they’ve just not seen much release outside of Asia, despite often being massive hits in China and elsewhere. I’ve sadly not seen a single one of Chow’s movies since Kung Fu Hustle. Even though we reviewed at least one on this very site! For shame. Chow’s last film, The New King of Comedy, came out in 2019, which feels very recent but actually isn’t anymore. Rewatching Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle made me realise: I need to fix things, and catch up with his filmography.

Now that I’ve got that resolution out of the way, let’s peel the onion one more layer to see what prompted my rewatch of those films in the first place—this incredible volleyball clip which looks like it was ripped straight from a Stephen Chow flick:

That was really nice
byu/ligonsk ingifs

And not one edit in the comments with Dragonball Z-style effects layered over the top. What a waste.