tek's rating: ½

Shaolin Soccer (PG)
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So 20 years ago there was this soccer star named Fung. He lost a game, and a mob broke his leg. For the next 20 years he worked for this manager, Hung, who had convinced him to throw the game, and also, it turns out, paid the mob to break Fung's leg, thus ending his career. Hung manages Team Evil, and Fung wants a chance to manage a team himself, but Hung refuses.

Then Fung meets a young man named Sing, who believes everyone can use Shaolin kung fu in everyday, ordinary ways. He's always trying to think of a way to make kung fu popular with the general public. Eventually, Fung realizes kung fu skills could be useful in soccer, so the two of them recruit Sing's former Shaolin brothers, who had studied kung fu together years ago. With a little training, they're soon ready for their first, unofficial match, against some enemies... who lose, and then join the Shaolin team.

Also there's a woman named Mui, a kung fu master, who uses her skills in making sweet buns for a street vendor. She and Fung become friends, and, predictably, she joins the soccer team in the championship match. In that match, of course, the Shaolin team has to play against Team Evil.

And that, pretty much, is the plot. But it's all really terribly funny... there's all these special effects that look like they're out of the Matrix or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon... but it's all done so comically. There are lots of great gags, not all of them involving kung fu.... I don't want to spoil any of them for you, though. It's all pretty absurd, hilarious, and exciting. And... that's about all I can think to say.

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