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The Monkey King
Album Cover Art
2014 Promo
2015 Intrada
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed and Produced by:

Conducted by:
Nic Raine

Orchestrated by:
Peter Bateman
Sebastian Cano-Besquet
Pantawit Kiangsiri
Sean McMahon
Joohyun Park
Patrick Russ
Megumi Sasano
David Shephard
Laurent Ziliani

Performed by:
The Slovak National Symphony Orchestra and Lucnica Chorus
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(November, 2014)

Intrada Records
(December 7th, 2015)
Availability Icon
The 2014 album was a promotional release from the composer. The same contents were pressed by Intrada in 2015 on a product limited to an unknown quantity and retailing primarily through soundtrack specialty outlets for an initial price of $20.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if the massively bombastic and tonally accessible mode of Christopher Young has been key to your enjoyment of his prior classic scores, this one unashamedly extroverted in its rotation between attractive character suites.

Avoid it... if your enjoyment of any humongous adventure and fantasy score requires a cohesive musical narrative based upon strong, interwoven, central themes, a formula not possible in the impressionistic way Young was asked to score this film.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 2/16/15, REVISED 4/14/16
The Monkey King: (Christopher Young) Pushing the boundaries of cinematic extravaganza in the early 2010's in Hong Kong and China (we'll keep those two separate for the time being, just for the sake of posterity), the absurdly numerous production and distribution companies involved with the eventual 2014 film The Monkey King cranked up its budget successively in an attempt to bloat the spectacle to box office gold. The plot tackles the famed Chinese mythology hero of Sun Wukong, the magical Monkey King of Wu Cheng'en's classic 16th Century novel, "Journey to the West," and presents his origins story as he rebels against the Jade Emperor of heaven, suffers 500 years in captivity, journeys to India, and returns to China with Buddhism. All of this action, which features battles with strange gods all along the way, foreshadows the events actually read in "Journey to the West," and it was the intent of the production to use this film as a vehicle to introduce the subsequent stories in films spaced out every few years. Despite stylish effects by Hollywood veterans and the acting of Donnie Yen and Chow Yun-fat, The Monkey King fared poorly with yawning critics, many of whom denigrated the film for existing solely as a tool with which the titular character can rotate through godly enemies in one messy battle sequence after another. Although the film grossed roughly $100 million over its budget, its planned 2015 wide release in America never ultimately materialized. Never fear, however, for production moved forward on the first sequel in late 2014 anyway. For film music collectors in the West, none of this background really matters outside of the odd but thankful involvement of composer Christopher Young on the project. Never one to turn away from a truly bizarre opportunity (whether in blazing action, ridiculous comedy, or quirky dramas), Young toiled with projects outside of the mainstream for many years leading up to 2014, with an embarrassing assignment such as the late 2013 flick Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas indicative of his viable but disappointing paycheck methodology. Soundtrack enthusiasts always welcome Young's ventures into the fantasy and adventure genres, for the results in scores such as Priest, Ghost Rider, and Spider-Man 3 are often glorious. Even his top horror titles, his calling card, have strayed towards the fantasy element, highlighted by Hellbound: Hellraiser II and Drag Me to Hell.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.69 Stars
***** 25 5 Stars
**** 21 4 Stars
*** 15 3 Stars
** 9 2 Stars
* 5 1 Stars
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My alternate review. smile
Hari Haran - December 26, 2016, at 12:39 p.m.
1 comment  (11 views)
Review at Movie Wave
Southall - January 24, 2016, at 1:44 p.m.
1 comment  (242 views)
Monkey King: score preview
Glass - March 9, 2015, at 11:22 p.m.
1 comment  (633 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
All Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 73:26
• 1. Yu Huang Da Di, the Jade Emperor (7:10)
• 2. Tieshan Gongzhu, the Princess Iron Fan (3:25)
• 3. Ao Kuang, the Dragon King of the East Sea (9:51)
• 4. Nuwa, the Goddess of Works (8:01)
• 5. Ruxue, the Silver Fox (5:40)
• 6. Erlangshen, the Three-Eyed Warrior (3:17)
• 7. Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy (3:29)
• 8. Subhuti, the Old Master (2:33)
• 9. Niu Mo Wang, the Buffalo Demon King (16:53)
• 10. Sun Wukong, the Monkey King (8:47)
• 11. Just Dreams - performed by Julie Chae (4:26)

Notes Icon
No substantive insert exists with the promotional release. The insert of the Intrada album contains notes about both the film and score.
Copyright © 2015-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Monkey King are Copyright © 2014, 2015, Promotional, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 2/16/15 and last updated 4/14/16.
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