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Shaolin (film)

A 2011 Hongkong-Chinese action movie starring Jackie Chan, Andy Lau & Nicholas Tse

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TAKE A LITTLE TRIP TO SHAOLIN

  • Dec 13, 2012
Rating:
+4
Shaolin (Bluray + DVD Combo) [Blu-ray]

SHAOLIN

It is no secret that I am a huge Martial arts fan, from being an actual practitioner all the way to movies and such. Now any martial arts fan out there knows of Shaolin I am sure, from the actual history to the films in which this place and its people are portrayed. This is another in a list of films dedicated to the destruction of one of the temples. There have been many before this and I am sure there are more to come. Most people know of the old school ones back in the day and even one that came a little later that gave us a young Jet Li. The Li film is what this one is loosely based on from what I can tell. Also it should be noted that the actual Shaolin Monastery supported this film.

Set during the Warlord Era of China in the 1900's the film tells the story of General Hou [Andy Lau] a warlord who wants more [don't they all]. We start with Hou entering the Shaolin Temple chasing down a rival warlord and despite the Monks pleas to leave the man be and show mercy he murders the man inside the Temple walls. In an effort to seize control of more power an assassination attempt on a warlord named Song Hu goes wrong when Hou's second in command Cao Man [Nicholas Tse] betrays him. While trying to escape Hou's daughter becomes fatally injured. In a desperate attempt to save her he takes her to the very Monks he disrespected at the Shaolin Monastery. While they do try to save her it is for nothing as she is too far gone his wife blames him for this and leaves him, he has lost everything. While he is full of anger and has lead a life contradictory to that of the Monks he is given sanctuary there. But his past may still catch up with him as Cao Man will not rest until he is dead.

For those who don't know this film was directed by Benny Chan and I have to say that this may very well be his best film. Chan has been know as more of a style or action driven type director, but here he really comes through with the dramatic elements as well. But much like Woopak said it helps when you have actors who can help carry the film. Andy Lau is our lead and he does an excellent job here. He is believable as the power hungry warlord and as the changing man looking for peace after losing everything.

Fan Bingbing is great as well as Hou's wife and it shows especially in scenes in which she blames her husband for their daughter's death. I really enjoyed Nicholas Tse here though as the lead villain after turning on Hou. He plays a very ruthless character that goes for what he wants at all costs. Then of course there is Jackie Chan who I am sure a lot of people will see this for him. Chan is great here as well in a supporting role playing a cook at the temple. His character has a lot to do with Hou coming to terms with what has happened, a good light dramatic role for Chan.

Then of course there are the action and fight scenes here and I have to say that the film excels in that department. When the action hits in this film it really hits and is very exciting, from straight action as in things going boom and guns being discharged all the way to the fights. Any martial arts fan will enjoy the fight scenes in this flick although sometimes the wire work is a little too obvious. Still there is nothing like good martial arts being displayed and it is here. The last part of the film in particular will please any action fan in my opinion.

Now not everything is great here but even the things I am about to mention don't take too much away from the film. Chan is really proving himself with this film but sometimes the direction seems a bit off. Some things are not fully explored to the fullest [I do understand this though since the film is already 2 + hours] like the Monks who pull "Iron Monkey" duties in stealing rice and such and giving them out to the poor town's people. It shows why they do it and why they stop since they are punished for stealing since it goes against their ways. But I felt like a little more from them would have been fun. Also the wire work is always fun and great to look at but in a film that is mostly based in reality sometimes the wire work seems out of place.

In the end I would say that this film is an epic but falls just a little short of classic status in my opinion. But who knows time may be a good thing for this film as it is already good. I may change my mind years from now and in fact you may disagree and label it classic now. It all depends on the person I guess. What I will say now is I really do like this film and think it is very good, and may be Benny Chan's best.

TAKE A LITTLE TRIP TO SHAOLIN TAKE A LITTLE TRIP TO SHAOLIN TAKE A LITTLE TRIP TO SHAOLIN TAKE A LITTLE TRIP TO SHAOLIN

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December 13, 2012
This was surprisingly good. Not perfect but enjoyable.
December 20, 2012
Indeed Sir Woo, Benny Chan is getting better.
 
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More Shaolin (film) reviews
review by . June 21, 2011
posted in ASIANatomy
Plenty of Martial Arts Action Makes
Most folks are familiar with the real-story about the destruction of Shaolin Temple and many movies such as the 1976 classic by Chang Cheh and the same titled Jet Li 1982 film have used fiction to portray its story. I mean, I am pretty sure that a real accurate depiction of its destruction would be epic but there lies the problem of losing a lot of action entertainment values if one made such a film. Until then, director Benny Chan (Invisible Target) tries his hand in doing a film about its destruction …
Quick Tip by . December 13, 2012
posted in ASIANatomy
In the end I would say that this film is an epic but falls just a little short of classic status in my opinion. But who knows time may be a good thing for this film as it is already good. I may change my mind years from now and in fact you may disagree and label it classic now. It all depends on the person I guess. What I will say now is I really do like this film and think it is very good, and may be Benny Chan's best.
Quick Tip by . February 15, 2011
posted in ASIANatomy
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Big names, good performances but predictable plot. It's worth the time if you're watching it on dvd. Otherwise, depending on how much you're a fan of Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse &/or Fan Bingbing. Personally, I hardly pay to go to the theater anymore as far as Chinese movies are concerned!      P.S. I've been to the real Shaolin temple. The one in the movie is nothing like it at all!
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Ranked #8
I basically am just a normal person obbsessed with Mixed Martial Arts, pro wrestling, movies of all kinds, music of all kinds, books of all kinds, and of course foods of all kinds. Just trying to keep … more
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Shaolin, also known as The New Shaolin Temple, is a 2011 Hong Kong-Chinese action film directed byBenny Chan, starring Andy LauNicholas TseFan Bingbing and Wu Jing, with a special appearance by Jackie Chan. It is an updated version of Jet Li's film debut, The Shaolin Temple.[3] The film's theme song, Wu (悟), was performed by Andy Lau.
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