THE MONKEY KING
Starring: Jolie Hoang-Rappaport, Jimmy O. Yang, Jo Koy, Hoon Lee, Stephanie Hsu, Andrew Pang, BD Wong, Ron Yuan, James Sie, and Bowen Yang
Director: Anthony Stacchi
The Monkey King is a fun - if average - animation, best suited to very young viewers. The central character, Monkey (voiced by Jimmy O. Yang), is annoying, but not in an endearing or funny way. He can be slightly unlikable, which makes it very difficult to appreciate his character arc, but did make me appreciate Lin’s (Jolie Hoang-Rappaport) unwavering understanding. On a positive note, I thoroughly enjoyed the Dragon King’s periodic appearances. Voiced by Bowen Yang, he channels the extravagance of The Little Mermaid's Ursula with a menacing intensity, and his fabulous musical number was my favourite part of the film.
The Monkey King has very little going for it, outside of some flashy colours. Every single character in the film is completely grating and hugely unlikable, and they never really evolve or develop in any way. The action sequences are exceptionally dull, and they make up far too much of the runtime. Unfortunately, watching a stick spin around and bonk a bad guy on the head can be entertaining only so many times. Strangely, the biggest offender might be the incredibly bizarre soundtrack that never seems to pick a consistent style or suitably compliment a scene.