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April 2, 2004

It’s Official … Shaolin Soccer Got Chopped …

— Posted by John Campea

shaolin4.jpgSo, the early reviews for Shaolin Soccer are out and almost universally positive (check here for a good cross section) but it’s also confirmed that Miramax has done a pretty significant hack job on the film, trimming it from 1h50m down to a lowly 87m. Apparently a lot of cuts are just of the ‘tightening up’ variety, but the more drastic moves include completely removing the opening scene that establishes the characters of both the soccer coach and the lead villain and a complete redo of both the opening and closing sequences. Because, you know, nobody needs to know who the lead characters are in the film. Or why they don’t like each other. And what the world really needs is another kung fu film that includes “Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting” in the soundtrack because audiences here are just too ignorant to realize that the characters in the kung fu film the just paid to see are in fact making use of kung fu unless we’re explicitly told so. And never mind that the original opening title sequence was brilliant as it was. Apparently Miramax also went and digitally removed all of the Chinese text from the film – including the tattoo across the coach’s belly – and replaced it with English script as well. Because people might be confused by all that Chinese language stuff showing up in a film set in China.

So, while it appears that Miramax hasn’t managed to completely destroy Shaolin Soccer it also appears that it wasn’t for lack of trying … Thank God Stephen Chow has seen the light and won’t let Miramax anywhere near Kung Fu Hustle …

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