The Monkey King 3
|The Monkey King 3|
|Mandarin||Xī yóu jì nǚ'ér guó|
|Directed by||Cheang Pou-soi|
|Written by||Wen Ning|
|Based on||Journey to the West |
by Wu Cheng'en
|Music by||Yu Kobayashi|
|Distributed by||International - Well Go USA Entertainment , Aeon pix studios ( India , Europe & other )|
|Budget||RMB 550 (US$87 million) |
|Box office||US$114.2 million|
The Monkey King 3 is a 2018 Chinese fantasy film based on the classic novel Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en. The film is the third installment of the Monkey King franchise, after The Monkey King (2014) and The Monkey King 2 (2016). Directed by Cheang Pou-soi, it stars Aaron Kwok, Feng Shaofeng, Zhao Liying, Xiaoshenyang and Him Law. The film was released on February 16, 2018, the first day of the Chinese New Year holiday period.
In The Monkey King 3, Buddhist monk Tang Sanzang (William Feng Shaofeng) and his disciples – Wukong the Monkey King (Aaron Kwok Fu-shing), pig demon Bajie (Xiao Shenyang) and the blue-skinned sand demon Wujing (Him Lo Chung-him) – inadvertently enter the Womanland of Western Liang, a nation populated by women raised to believe that men are fatally deceptive in matters of the heart.
Love nevertheless blossoms between Tang Sanzang and the Womanland’s young queen (Zhao Liying), even though her royal preceptor (Gigi Leung Wing-kei) is hell-bent on sentencing the men to death. As Wukong and Co. search for a way out of this nation surrounded by a vast magical net, it soon transpires, conveniently, that romantic love is the only key to opening the gate. So will Tang Sanzang give up on his sacred mission and stay with the queen?
- Aaron Kwok as Sun Wukong, the Monkey King
- Feng Shaofeng as Tang Sanzang, the Buddhist monk
- Zhao Liying as the Ruler of Women's Country
- Xiaoshenyang as Zhu Bajie, the pig demon
- Him Law as Sha Wujing, the water-buffalo
- Lin Chi-ling as Hebo
- Gigi Leung as Advisor
- Liu Tao as Guanyin
- Kingdom Yuen as Priest
- Cecilia So as young advisor
- Sire Ma
On 4 December 2016, it was announced that Zhao Liying would play the role of the Ruler of Women's Country. The original cast members of The Monkey King 2: Aaron Kwok, Feng Shaofeng, Xiaoshenyang and Him Law would be reprising their roles as Sun Wukong, Tang Sanzang, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing respectively in the film. On 1 March 2017, Liu Tao, Lin Chi-ling, and Gigi Leung were reported to have joined the cast.
Hollywood talent Shaun Smith (300, I am Legend, The Monkey King 2) returns as the special makeup effects supervisor/designer for the Monkey King 3.
The third sequel was released in China on February 16, 2018. During the event it was announced that the film will be released on 16 February 2018, the first day of the Chinese New Year holiday period, which is also the first day of the Year of the Dog.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 33% based on 6 reviews, and an average rating of 3.5/10. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 4 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". On Tianjin Maoyan Culture Media's ticketing website the film has received a 7.8/10 from the audience based on over 240,000 reviews.
Elizabeth Kerr from The Hollywood Reporter believes that the film is "bonker(s), but in a charming, delirious sort of way" with "enough eye-catching set pieces." But the movie may not necessary to be 3D. As for actors, Aaron Kwok delivers a "strong performance......that's far more nuanced than it needs to be," while "Feng and Zhao are a less than riveting couple, making their dilemmas leaden soap opera instead of compelling crises of conscience or identity." She also points out that even the Queen's still "begging for the men’s help." The Monkey King 3 misses a great timing and opportunity to make the female characters "active-not-reactive." 
China's noted film critic Raymond Zhou regards The Monkey King 3 as inferior than its previous one, "The Monkey King 2. He criticizes on his personal Weibo that the CGI effect is far from credible than the story is. Both of two romantic lines have no chemistry. Feng Shaofeng's performance is reliable among leads.
Senior film critic Derek Elley, however, credits The Monkey King 3 as "the most engaging of the three films on a character level, with a relaxed tone and often silly humour that also help to bolster its “human” face." Xuanzang's role is "always a difficult one to bring off amid such colourful company (Aaron Kwok, Xiaoshenyang, and Luo Zhongqian)", but Feng Shaofeng "manages to make Xuanzang sympathetic"; Zhao fails to "dominate the film as her character should"; Gigi Leung "grabs the spotlight" while her character is not "fully-drawn"; Lin Zhiling "has a couple of memorable moments in the CGI-heavy finale."
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