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Picks and Pans Review: Shaolin Soccer

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SPORTS COMEDY

Stephen Chow, Vicki Zhao, Ng Man Tat

Kids, particularly those who play soccer, will get a major kick out of this frisky Hong Kong-made film about a ball-playing kung fu master (Chow, who also directed and cowrote). Along with a group of out-of-shape but equally talented buddies, he applies martial arts superpowers to getting a ball downfield and into the goal. A huge hit in Asia, Soccer may be a little ragged for American tastes, but its appeal is obvious as each teammate uses his special skill to kick the ball with rocket force, fling it with his stomach or rise up into the air over opponents’ heads during a $1 million prize match. There are nifty special effects and tricks aplenty on display and much good cheer. (PG-13)