The Shaolin Temple is the last place to resist defeat by the Manchu Dynasty, mostly because of their unique fighting style. Men from far and wide come to wait outside the temple, hoping ... See full summary »
The Shaolin Temple is the last place to resist defeat by the Manchu Dynasty, mostly because of their unique fighting style. Men from far and wide come to wait outside the temple, hoping that they will be admitted as pupils. As the Abbot becomes older, he realizes that the Manchus are determined to destroy the temple and eradicate the Shaolin fighting techniques. To this end, he decides that it is time at last to admit worthy men into the temple as students, to learn the way of Shaolin. Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
An entertaining kung fu film, with acting, plot and fight scenes a cut above the average chop socky. All of the cast are likeable characters and skilled martial artists. Alexander Fu-Sheng's proto-Jackie Chan comedy antics are fun to watch, and his austere companion shows particularly impressive skills. For me, the film's only glaring flaw is the size of the cast -- at times, things get a little confused as the film chops and changes between various subplots, and some of the characters are not as fully fleshed-out as one might wish.
But a kung fu film should be judged first and foremost on the quality of the action, and Shaolin Temple definitely delivers on that count. The film climaxes with a high-bodycount battle that allows each character to show off his skills against a worthy opponent.
Overall, Shaolin Temple is an enjoyable low-budget kung fu movie. Not up to the quality of a good Jet Li film, but definitely worth a look for fans of the genre. My rating: 8/10.
Misc notes: The 1987 Warner Home Video release I saw was (predictably) poorly dubbed, and lacked full cast & crew credits.
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