Shaolin Soccer (少林足球) is a 2001 martial arts comedy movie about a team of martial arts experts who use their skills to play football (soccer), while also promoting Shaolin kung fu to the masses.
The movie was directed by Stephen Chow, who was also a co-writter, and played the leading role of Shaolin kung fu master and football striker Mighty Steel Leg Sing.
The story revolves around Sing, a Shaoline kung fu master who wish to find a way to promote the spiritual and practical benefits of kung fu in modern society. Finally, he is compelled by the idea of using football to promote kung fu, and coaxes his former Shaolin brothers to help him form a team. Together, they take on Team Evil, a super-doped football team owned by the currupt businessman Hung.
The movie was both a box office succes in Hong Kong and got fine reviews by most critics. The film holds a 91% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes and has a 68/100 score on Metacritic.
Shaolin Soccer grossed over HK$60,7 million at Hong Kong box office, making it the highest-grossing film in the region’s history at the time. (In 2004, the record was broken by Stephen Chow’s movie Kung Fu Hustle.) Worldwide, Shaolin Soccer grossed US$42,776,760.
The Chinese authorities banned Shaolin Soccer from cinnemas and DVD/VCD, because Stephen Chow did not apply for permission for public screenings in Hong Kong.
|Stephen Chow||Mighty Steel Leg Sing||Shaolin kung fu expert
|Ng Man-tat||Golden Leg Fung||Played soccer in the 1980s, is now crippled|
|Wong Yat-fei||Iron Head||The oldest of the Shaolin brothers
Specializes in headers during soccer games
|Mok Mei-lam||Hooking Leg||The second Shaolin brother
His skills resembles ground tumbling boxing
|Tin Kai-man||Iron Shirt||The third Shaolin brother
Can absorb blunt force attacks without much injury
Can shoot the ball using his stomach
|Danny Chan Kwok-kwan||Empty Hand Lightning Hand||The fourth Shaolin brother
Resembles Bruce Lee
Extremely fast hands
|Lam Chi-chung||Light Weight Vest||The sixth Shaolin borther
Can jump extremely high
|Zhao Wei||Mui||Baker and tai chi expert
Sing’s love interest
|Patrick Tse||Hung||Team Evil’s coach
Golden Leg Fung’s former team mate
|Shik Zi-yun||No. 9||Team Evil’s striker
Can back flip, soar into the sky and kick a fiery ball
|Cao Hua||No. 21||Team Evil’s goalkeeper
Increadibly strong hands
|Cecilia Cheung||No.7||Team Dragon player
Can run very fast
|Karen Mok||No.11||Team Dragon player
Can run very fast
|Fung Min-hun||Captain of Team Rebellion||Captain of Team Rebellion
Fights using a crescent wrench and a steel mallet.
|Vincent Kok||Captain of Team Tofu||Captain of Team Tofu|
Basic info about the movie
|English title||Shaolin soccer|
|Lenght||1 hour and 52 minutes|
|Budget||10 million USD|
|Box office||42.8 million USD|
Behind the scenes
|Production company||Star Overseas Ltd
Universe Entertainment Ltd
|Written by||Stephen Chow
|Music by||Lowell Lo
|Edited by||Kai Kit-Wai|
|Distributed by||Universe Entertainment Ltd
- Stephen Chow
- Zhao Wei
- Ng Man-tat
- Patrick Tse
- Danny Chan Kwok-kwan
Examples of awards won
- Blue Ribbon Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
- 38th Golden Horse Awards for Best Action Choreography and Best Visual Effects.
- 7th Golden Bauhinia Awards in the categories Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor.
- Hong Kong Film Critics Society Award for Best Picture.
- 21st Hong Kong Film Awards in seven categories:
Best Picture Best Director (Stephen Chow) Best Young Director (Stephen Chow) Best Actor (Stephen Chow) Best Supporting Actor (Wong Yat-fei) Best Sound Effect (Kinson Tsang) Best Visual Effect (Frankie Chung, Ken Law, and Ronald To)