Sunday, May 02, 2004

Shaolin Soccer (IMDB) (Netflix)
A soccer squad called "Team Evil" is just begging to be taken down, and it's going to take a rag-tag band of brothers to come together, win the big prize and get the girl. They've never played the sport before, and their coach is a cripple who's been cast off by the slimy team owner, but they have their Shaolin Kung Fu skills to serve as their superpowers. Think Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets The Magnificent Seven meets Stripes.

This is a lot of fun (and if I had forgotten for even a moment, there was a woman sitting a few rows back whose cackle constantly reminded me). It's not high art, and the acting has that distinctive martial arts film lack of subtlety, but its good-natured sensibility and heart are irresistible. Rated PG, so youngsters can take their first crack at reading sub-titles.