Sanzang tells his master that his suffering due to Duan's loss has helped him to enlightenment. Sanzang is then instructed to travel on a journey to the west (India) for the Buddhist sutras of Leiyin Temple, and it is shown that the Water Demon, Pig Demon, and Monkey King have been tamed and turned into humans named, respectively, Sha Wujing, Zhu Bajie and Sun Wukong. As they hike across the desert, Sanzang looks across the sand and sees an image of Duan.
When last we left monk Tang (Kris Wu), he had chosen to team up with three vanquished demons to do something productive with his grief over the death of his secret beloved Miss Duan (Shu Qi). It's been a while since they joined forces and the dynamic between Tang the Monkey King (Kenny Lin), Pigsy the horny hog demon (Yang Yiwei), and Sandy the fish demon (Mengke Bateer) has grown strained. The Monkey King has little but contempt for his captor/master, and, when we join them, they're attempting to raise a little money by putting on a sideshow at a carnival (the ADR and the elaborate set bring Fellini to mind). Monkey resents being used as an attraction and deliberately sabotages the performance, but his displays of inhuman strength still dazzle the circus crowd enough that Tang and his crew are allowed to continue unharmed on their way west.
The story kicks off with a stirring opening sequence involving a fake demon hunter, a fake water demon and a Taoist monk (the man that would be Tripitaka) Chen Xuanzang (Wen Zhang) dedicated to demon expulsion via love, kindness and a book of 300 nursery rhymes. Failing to get the job done and strung up for being a hoax, Xuanzang watches helplessly as the real water demon appears and wreaks havoc on a small village. The day is ultimately saved by real-deal Duan (Shu Qi) and her Infinity Flying Ring. Despondent at his failure, Xuanzang goes back to his master (Cheng Sihan) who tells him his lack of faith was the root of his demon banishing ineptitude. Cue the journey to betterment and wisdom.
Journey to the West follows the story of Xuan Zang, a young Buddhist monk eager to prove himself as a worthy demon hunter. Instead of using his fists, Zang uses an old book of nursery rhymes that is said to awaken the goodness within the hearts of those conquered by evil. Unsuccessful in his efforts, Xuan meets a strong, beautiful demon hunter named Miss Duan who uses brute force to defeat demons, and so far it has been working for her quite well. In his efforts to unlock his own hidden power, Xuan decides to join Miss Duan on her journey to vanquish other demons and rid the world of evil.
The finale of the film is fantastic in the truest sense of the word and the tale takes the turn down the road of Chinese mythology (Xuan Zang is also a character from Chinese mythology, something I had been unaware of when sitting down to watch). The end of the film, so different from a Western ending, yet still harkening to one, is wholly satisfying. We are given a conclusion that gives us a better appreciation for the old tales of China, and it is a satisfying end. It is a rocky road to get there, but it is a worthwhile journey.
In an almost completely recast sequel, monk Tang Sanzang (Kris Wu) has tamed the Monkey King (Kenny Lin) following the death of Miss Duan, but their conflict has now become one of bitter squabbling and destructive infighting. Continuing their journey west in search of the Buddhist sutras, together with Pigsy and Sandy (Mengke Bateer), they encounter a variety of demons along the way and must put aside their differences to achieve victory.
There have been a few times over the course of their journey in which either the monk or the monkey required a bit of assistance. Both of them are incredibly stubborn, and it leads to a new depth in their relationship that leaves onlookers a bit confused.
Stopping for the night with the monk and his disciples, you and Sun Wukong have a conversation about what you'll do once their journey is over. The monkey king has an idea and has an interesting way of making you agree.
While the book may be fictional, it contains real live events and historical people, such as the Buddhist monk named Xuanzang and his pilgrimage to India. As the story goes, Xuanzang, by decree of the Chinese Emperor Taizong, embarks on a journey to India to retrieve sacred Buddhist scriptures called "sutras." Along the path, he meets and converts three disciples. Their names are Sun Wukong (Monkey King), Zhu Bajie (Pigsy), and Sha Wujing (Sandy). Together, the four pilgrims journey across dangerous roads, face numerous demons and overcome perilous obstacles. In the end, their accomplishments earn them the titles of enlightened beings.
This is actually a thing now. A TV series named The Legend of Monkey, consisting of 10 half-hour episodes, is under production in New Zealand and is expected premiere on ABC, TVNZ, and on Netflix in 2018. Produced by the Oscar and Emmy-winning production company See-Saw Films together with Jump Film & TV, this new show features a teenage girl and three fallen gods on an adventurous journey in attempts to end a demonic reign of chaos and bring peace and balance to the whole world. And they look like this: 2b1af7f3a8