I’m sure there are many Geeks of Doom readers in the ether of these intertubes that are familiar with the Chinese epic legend, Journey to the West. And those who are not will be familiar with many of its contemporary adaptations such as the cult-classic series Monkey (also known as Monkey Magic) or tersely ripped off in the awful Dragonball Z series (I’m waiting for the hate mail on that comment).
Well, be aware, fellow geeks, for something new adapted this way approaches – and I have to say, this looks like the maddest, most ridiculous, slapstick, and discombobulating version ever to be made. Directed by Derek Kok and Stephen Chow, the film (depending on what sources you dig up) seems to have three working titles internationally: Journey to the West, A Chinese Odyssey, and Odyssey, and is set for release in February in Hong Kong.
And after you see the trailer (embedded below), you will want it released here soon too!
Traditionally, the Chinese classic novel (often attributed to Wu Cheng’en) follows the pilgrimage of a monk to receive sacred texts from the living Buddha, as he is accompanied by three disciples who swear to protect the monk on the journey as form of atonement for their past sins. The acolytes take on the form of powerful former gods or kings (depending on your interpretation), one of which is the famous Sun Woking, the Monkey King.
Each adaptation seems to take its own swing, slant, and view of the story, but for the most part, the core of the story remains the strongest foundation of them all. Except for that abortion-of-a-series, Dragonball Z… honestly, fuck that show.
My hatred for the Draggingballs aside, I was captivated when I heard of Stephen Chow taking on board Journey to the West – he’s probably better known to American audiences from Kung Fu Hustle.
And then I witnessed the trailer – and it’s MAD, I tell you: MAD!
You can check out the embedded inexplicable craziness below.
Journey To The West also titled A Chinese Odyssey and Odyssey includes Huang Bo, Shu Qi, and Wen Zhang. The film is set to be released in Hong Kong on February 7, 2013. A U.S. release will hopefully follow, though there is no word on whether it will be theatrical or direct to DVD/Blu-Ray or streaming services.