西游記之大鬧天宮 The Monkey King: First Look

Posted by The Daily Zombies Sunday, January 26, 2014

With Chinese New Year in the immediate horizon, Donnie Yen's three-year-in-the-making Chinese fantasy epic The Monkey King has arrived and here's our First Look at the much-anticipated film. 

While we bet mostly everyone knew that Marvel Studios' Iron Man 3 is the undisputed blockbuster globally in 2013, do you know which film top the biggest box office market of the world, China, last year? Good ol' shellhead is not even close. It's iconic actor/director Stephen Chow's A Chinese Odyssey (西遊.降魔篇), released during the auspicious (in more ways than one) Chinese New Year period.

With that knowledge equipped, it is therefore interesting that this year's Chinese New Year blockbuster slugfest, The Monkey King (西游記之大鬧天宮) the much-delayed star-studded take on an earlier stage of the classic tale of Journey to the West directed by Cheang Pou-soi (鄭保瑞) has finally arrived. Having took on the godly role of Guan Yu (關雲長) in The Lost Bladesman, Donnie Yen takes on yet another legendary godly role as the eponymous Monkey King, Sun Wukong.  A star-studded film also featuring Chow Yun-fat as the Jade Emperor and Aaron Kwok as the Bull Demon King, the film promised spectacular special effects to bring to life the more interesting aspect of the classic novel where Sun Wukong singlehandedly took on an every Gods and Demons and sealed his fate as one of the greatest icons of world culture.

Definitely a more action-oriented rendition when compared to Stephen Chow's irreverent take last year, trailers of the film have been released and without further ado, hit the jump to check out the exciting though CG-heavy sequences from the film. 

Another awesome trailer that tell more of the classic story.

And here are the posters and banners for the film.

The set of character posters. 

Concept art for the film.

Here's the official synopsis of the film:

Ever since the beginning of time, it was the deities who had maintained the order of the heaven and earth. However, owing to their evil predisposition, the demons weren't content with being subservient to deities all the time. To take the controlling power from deities, the leader of the demon tribe, Buffalo Demon King mounted an attack against the deities in heaven, but he lost out to Jade Emperor of the deity tribe at last and was expelled to Flaming Mountain on earth. Though the battle was drawn to a close, heaven was left in ruins and rubble. For the sake of harmony among deities, demons and humans, the goddess Nuwa turned herself into multicoloured crystals with which she mended heaven. To protect heaven from demonic ambush again, she also built the South Heavenly Gate with the same crystals. The Gate was imbued with strong divine magical power so that any demonic being coming close to it would vanish into ash. Despite the utmost care she used, Nuwa dropped one of the crystals fell to the earth leaving an opening on the Gate. As the crystal fell, it gathered the solar and lunar energies throughout hundreds of thousands of years and it turned into a celestial foetus. A divine monkey was born at last and he was the pivotal figure related to the security and safety of the heavenly palace.

This divine monkey has exceptional innate talent and intelligence. He learns magic from the Old Master Puti, the magic tricks to ride on flying cloud, freeze people's action and transform himself into 72 different beings.

Meantime, a giant wall of water hit Flaming Mountain, where Buffalo Demon King lived. The Demon King knew it was time to pull off his plan to attack heaven by playing the divine monkey off against heaven, so that he could take the controlling power from deities purportedly.

Here's the official synopsis of the film (in Chinese):

电影讲述孙悟空(甄子丹 饰)曾跟菩提祖师修成七十二变,决心要成为神仙,但因青梅竹马的好友九尾狐(夏梓桐 饰)被杀害及误交牛魔王(郭富城 饰)而视天庭为敌。牛魔王为了让他深爱的妻子铁扇公主(陈乔恩 饰)和怀了三百年的爱子红孩儿重返天界,煽动孙悟空联手大闹天庭,最终迫使玉帝(周润发 饰)率领二郎神(何润东 饰)等众仙迎战,展开连场仙魔大战。 

盘古开天辟地以来,神魔两族为争夺统领三界的权利而争夺不休。一次旷日持久的战役中,玉皇大帝统领的神界再次击退了牛魔王率领的魔族,女娲(张梓琳 饰)为避免再生战事化身晶石筑起南天门保卫天庭,而其中一块晶石陨落凡间聚天地之灵气幻化成为一灵猴——孙悟空。孙悟空拜入菩提祖师门下,很快天赋异禀却不受束缚的他被逐出师门,闹龙宫豪取金箍棒后立足花果山占山为王。另一面牛魔王假意放弃争斗来安抚玉帝之妹铁扇公主,背地里密谋对天庭更具毁灭性的攻势。 

孙悟空为救九尾狐(夏梓桐 饰)而与天庭结缘,牛魔王看重孙悟空本领假意称兄道弟却暗自利用九尾狐设计蒙骗孙悟空与天庭开战,一场惊天阴谋与爱恨交织的大战一触即发。

The Monkey King is set to hit cinemas all over Asia on 31st January 2014.


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