Chinese Odyssey 2002

Chinese Odyssey 2002

Director: Jeffrey Lau

Cast: Jeffrey Lau, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Faye Wong, Vicki Zhao Wei

     
 

Chinese Odyssey 2002, produced by Wong Kar-Wai, is writer-director Jeff Lau's energetic parody of Chinese kung fu epics, with a bit of Shakespeare thrown in. Chang Chen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) plays the Emperor, who, desperate for the free-spirited life of a wanderer, tries to escape from the royal palace with his sister, the Princess (Faye WongSee more details below

Overview

Chinese Odyssey 2002, produced by Wong Kar-Wai, is writer-director Jeff Lau's energetic parody of Chinese kung fu epics, with a bit of Shakespeare thrown in. Chang Chen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) plays the Emperor, who, desperate for the free-spirited life of a wanderer, tries to escape from the royal palace with his sister, the Princess (Faye Wong, little seen since starring in Wong's Chungking Express). He's caught and returned to his angry mother by the royal guards, but the Princess, disguised as a man, manages to escape. Meanwhile, King Bully (Tony Leung, who also starred in Chungking Express) has returned to his hometown, where he is widely despised for his bullying ways, to run a restaurant with his tomboy sister, Phoenix (Vicki Zhao of Shaolin Soccer). They have a very close relationship. In fact, King Bully mistakenly believes that he can read his sister's mind. When the Princess arrives in town, King Bully finds himself drawn to her, but, believing she's a man, decides that his attraction is some kind of empathy with Phoenix. King Bully and the Princess spend a night eating and drinking together. In the morning, the Princess leaves. King Bully, determined that the Princess will marry Phoenix, vows to bring the charismatic young "man" back. She does return, but soon realizes that the royal guards are following her. Meanwhile, the Emperor convinces his mother to let him leave the palace to go look for the Princess. By the time he gets to town, the Princess has been carted off by the royal guards, with King Bully in hot pursuit. He's immediately attracted to Phoenix. More confusion ensues. Chinese Odyssey 2002 had its U.S. premiere at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival. The film was awarded Best Film, and Faye Wong Best Actress, by the Hong Kong Film Critics Society.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Jeff Lau's exuberant parody, Chinese Odyssey 2002, is so energetic and consistently entertaining that it hardly matters how little sense it all makes. Mixing elements from dozens of martial arts epics (including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and sly references to producer Wong Kar-Wai's oeuvre, Lau and his able cast come up with a buoyantly scattershot farce that, thanks largely to the charisma of Tony Leung, Faye Wong, and Vicki Zhao, still manages to maintain interest in the fates of its romantic leads. It's great to see Wong back putting her talents to use after a long absence from the big screen. Lau, director of the original Chinese Odyssey films, knows the genre inside out, and the filmmaker's skillful dismantling of HK film styles in its hilarious fight scenes and its gender-switching plot will appeal to anyone vaguely familiar with the source material. Most of the humor is visual, but it's also amazing how much of the film's verbal humor translates via subtitles. True, some of the laughs come from cheap gags. (For example, after seeing Wong, who is posing as a man, dress up in double drag, Leung decides to try dressing as a woman himself, and forgets to take his dress off the next morning.) And some of them don't quite work. But they come so fast and furious, at least for the first three quarters of the film, that there's no time to dwell on the near misses. The film bogs down a bit toward the end, as a prolonged separation of Leung and Wong sucks a little bit of the joy out of the scenario. But Hong Kong action fans looking for clever lightweight reflexive fun simply can't do any better.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/06/2009
UPC:
0738329061227
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
NR
Source:
Kino Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:30:00
Sales rank:
21,462

Special Features

Theatrical trailer; Stills gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tony Leung Chiu-Wai Actor
Faye Wong Actor
Vicki Zhao Wei Actor
Chang Chen Actor
Rebecca Pan Actor
Athena Chu Yun Actor
Eric Kot Actor
Ning Jing Actor
Cheung Yiu-Yeung Actor
Wong Wing-Ming Actor
Shao Xiyue Actor
Zhao Chang Actor
Wang Xudong Actor
Chan Long Actor
Jan Lamb Voice Only

Technical Credits
Jeffrey Lau Director,Screenwriter
Tony Au Production Designer
Wai-Chung Chan Executive Producer
Frankie Chan Score Composer
Ngor Chi-Kwan Cinematographer
Roel A. Garcia Score Composer
Law Hing-Man Associate Producer
Wong Ka-nang Art Director
Wong Kar-Wai Producer
Jacky Pang Co-producer
William Chang Suk-Ping Costumes/Costume Designer
Ken Siu Wai-Keung Asst. Director
Chan Wai-keung Associate Producer
Wong Wing-Ming Editor
Zhuo Wu Co-producer
Chan Ye-Cheng Executive Producer
Tao Yi-Mo Score Composer
Zhu Yongde Executive Producer
Ni Zheng Sound/Sound Designer
Zhong Zheng Associate Producer
Yongde Zhu Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Chinese Odyssey
1. Runaways [7:29]
2. Finding a Husband [5:37]
3. Soul Mate [6:32]
4. Back Home [7:20]
5. Destiny [9:17]
6. The Emperor [6:09]
7. Caring [6:39]
8. A Promise [8:22]
9. New Uniform [7:54]
10. A Deadly Force [8:19]
11. Bracelet [7:21]
12. One and Only [9:17]

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