Who do not know about Shaolin? Everybody have heard this word. So if you are an martial arts movies fan, you must watch Shaolin movie.
Plot: China in the 1920s is in chaos as cruel warlords engage in constant bloody battle in order to expand their territory and power. After besting a Shaolin monk in a duel, Hao Jie learns that pride comes before a fall when a rival kills his family and he is forced to seek refuge with the monks. As the civil unrest spreads and the people suffer, Hao Jie and the Shaolin masters are forced to take a tough stand against the evil warlords as they launch a plan of rescue and escape.
I am not such a big fan of Andy Lau, but this role suites him very well, but anyway Jackie, Wu Jing and Takeshi Kaneshiro look much better and realistic.
Getting back to the plot, after betrayal by his assistant Hou Jie finds himself in Shaolin and monk-cook helps him fins a way to resolve the existing conflict with the fellow monks. Sometime before, got some training experience under a lead instructor of Shaolin Hou leads the monks in a fiery stand against the warlord Cao Man, where monks can show themselves as Robin Hood followers. Here you catch yourself on a wild ride with spectacular fighting action, but why monks use Wing Chun, is it obligatory part of nowadays Chinese movie or just remind about Ip Man popularity? In this martial arts movie again we can see cruel Western powers who aims to take over China using gun power.
Wu Jing, who has done three Shaolin Temple related TV productions before as a young Shaolin disciple, is revisiting Shaolin Temple this time around but as a senior instructor of Shaolin martial arts. Someday we will see him as a big action star, he really deserves it.
When you think this film couldn’t get any better, Jackie Chan shows up as a comic relief as a Shaolin monk-cook. During all his appearance he is suffering from a one question “Quit or not from Shaolin?”, it looks really funny, but more enjoyable to watch how he is beating attackers as cooking in the kitchen. On my opinion Jackie can just stay somewhere on the side and still be stunning and no one can compare to him. Watch it if you want to know how good Jackie Chan can be if put him in the right role like it was in Snake in the Eagles Shadow.
Jackie Chan said, “I’m playing a Henan-accented cooking monk in Shaolin movie who knows no martial arts, it’s rather special. I don’t think what I did is a cameo, though it was a 7-day shoot, I had to shoot non-stop from 6am morning through midnight to 6am the next day. I was only given one hour’s sleep. Initially, I had a bigger role, but I was preparing another film, and they were clashing with each other, so, the director rewrote my part, I’m very glad to be working with Benny Chan again.”
This really is the type of martial arts movie that fans have been waiting for year. It isn’t typical kung fu flick with wire-fu because Benny Chan laces philosophy behind the fighting. It is such a rare occasion to see how Chinese filmmakers completed storytelling without leaving any parts hanging.
Hong Kong Cinema rules nowadays! They did it with Ip Man Film in 2008-2010 and now with Shaolin in 2011. Shaolin looks like Bruckheimer’s blockbusters in every sense.
Shaolin movie surely won’t make you feel sleepy for more than 2 hours.