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Review: The Monkey King – “Colourful and loud”

The Monkey King is a story from Chinese legends, which over the years has had a huge impact on pop culture. There are numerous adaptations from “Journey to the West” to the anime Dragonball. This is a version aimed at children, while colourful and loud it stays close to the original, somewhat mature legend.

Comedian Jimmy O. Yang lends his voice to the Monkey King, an impulsive underdog who wishes to be accepted. Born from a rock, he’s rejected by the other monkeys so he decides the best way to be loved is to become an Immortal and worshipped. He’s aided in his journey by a magical stick that can change from the size of a toothpick to a mountain. A stick which he has stolen from the Dragon King.

Monkey King is joined on his adventure by a human called Lin. She is determined to aid him on his quest to become an Immortal, despite his impishness. Together they travel across the land, breaking into the underworld and heaven.

Children will enjoy Monkey King’s rambunctious nature, with a few songs in between to lighten the mood. Adults will find the film gets better as it goes along, starting off fairly aimlessly before getting to the meat of the story, at an hour and a half it doesn’t take too long. The endearing legacy of the legend comes through in its final act, which aims to teach an important lesson about growth.

The Monkey King is now on Netflix.

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