Two rivaling families live on opposite sides of a river. One of them practices Shaolin kung fu and has only sons, while the other has only daughters and practices the Wu-Tang sword. The ... See full summary »
Two rivaling families live on opposite sides of a river. One of them practices Shaolin kung fu and has only sons, while the other has only daughters and practices the Wu-Tang sword. The father of the Wu-Tang family is so paranoid about the Shaolin kids stealing his sword style (besides, he wants a son to teach it to, and the closest thing he has is a lesbian daughter) that he is taken off guard when some real bad guys come along to kill his family, but the Shaolin family helps them out. All the while, everyone is desperately trying to get the lesbian girl to marry Jet Li. Written by
This was Jet Li's second movie and was once again a Mainland Chinese production. The tone is on the opposite end of Shaolin Temple's: light-hearted and fun. The movie tells the story of two families on different sides of a river: Yu Hai's family of Shaolin martial arts'trained boys(one of whom is Jet Li) and another guy's family of Wudang (Wu Tang) swordsmanship-trained girls. There's been a rivalry between the families and that's interfering with the wedding between various members of the families who love each other. Also, there are some vicious bandits who want revenge after Yu Hai rescued the boys and injured their leader.
The cast is made up of authentic wushu stylists, and it shows. Everyone knows how to fight in this movie. The little girls, the little boys, the men, the women, the thieves, etc. Therefore, all the action is pure, authentic Chinese martial arts (pole, sword, 3-sectional staff, etc). The choreography is a lot different than people today are used to. However, if you like your fighting w/o extensive use of wire and special FX, this is definitely worth checking out. My only gripe is that Jet Li has to compete with the rest of the cast in showing off his skills.
The main flaw of this film is that although everyone in the cast are martial artists, the ensemble casting and numerous sub-plots take away from character development and not every subplot gets to be developed. The story jumps from one character's story to the next, and therefore not everyone gets to be fully developed.
I must say that the story and the children made the film more endearing. Jet Li is probably at his most likable (he's up there with his performance in Fong Sai Yuk). The little children are pretty enjoyable little scamps, just don't go into the film expecting a dead-serious martial arts movie. It's light-hearted and fancy free.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?