Movie: Shaolin Soccer

Our Rating: 2.00

Miramax has been in a dither about what to do with this Chinese slapstick sports melodrama since acquiring it eons ago; at one point, there was even a dubbed version floating around that never saw release. The print that's finally hitting theaters is a standard subtitled affair, but the 25 minutes that have been excised for stateside play may explain the atrocious continuity and gaping plot holes. Not to say that you'd want more of the flick, exactly: Over-the-top mugging defines the story of a ragtag soccer team that uses Shaolin kung fu to vanquish its foes on the field. The handful of gags that show some smarts are all but smothered by director/star Stephen Chow's devotion to obnoxious pratfalling, cheap-ass effects shots and cartoonish characterizations better suited to an episode of TV's Jackie Chan Adventures. See it only if you absolutely can't wait for the second remake of The Longest Yard.

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