Jet Li weasels out of the north Shaolin temple to assassinate a despotic ruler at the ruler's extravagant public birthday celebration. Two other men from the south Shaolin temple also set ... See full summary »
A disgraced former Kung Fu expert makes a living as a merchant with the help of a hot headed friend. When the men are harassed by gangsters, the merchant decided to teach his friend monkey boxing so they can defend their business.
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 »
The Tang emperor is betrayed by one of his generals, who installs himself as emperor in the East Capital. The son of one of his slave workers escapes to the Shaolin Temple, learns kung fu, ... See full summary »
The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, ... See full summary »
Set three years after Dragon Inn, innkeeper Jade has disappeared and a new inn has risen from the ashes - one that's staffed by marauders masquerading as law-abiding citizens, who hope to unearth the fabled lost city buried in the desert.
As the names of Chang Cheh and Liu Chia-liang became legendary, all-too-often the name of their equally valued collaborator, Tang Chia, is omitted. That may be,because, unlike the previous ... See full summary »
Shaolin Mantis (Orig. Tang lang) is a 1978 Shaw Brothers film directed by Lau Kar-leung. Starring David Chiang and Liu Chia Hui. Shaolin Mantis tells the story of a man who learns martial arts by observing a praying mantis.
Jet Li weasels out of the north Shaolin temple to assassinate a despotic ruler at the ruler's extravagant public birthday celebration. Two other men from the south Shaolin temple also set out to assassinate the ruler, but all three fail and are chased all over by soldiers. Meanwhile, one of the southerners turns out to be a cross-dressed woman, who is also discovered to wear a footbell to match Jet Li's, meaning they are somehow slated for an arranged marriage. Written by
This is a strange film in HK movie history. It's possibly the last "traditional" Shaw brothers film, released a year after the film studio closed it's doors. In fact there are no scenes shot in HK at all. Nearly everything is on location in Mainland China. It's also the last Liu Chia Liang film working with his Shaw crew of cameramen and technicians. It's one of the first HK and Mainland co-productions and the first time Jet Li worked with anyone other than Mainland film crews. Jet Li has been unusually frank about his unhappiness with the work habits of the HK crew, director Liu included.
The story is clearly from HK as Jet Li gets into situations that would have been considered unacceptable in a Mainland production at that time. He plays a mischievous kung fu monk with an agenda for revenge against an evil warlord. He meets up with a girl with the same agenda but she's disguised as a boy which fools everyone but the audience. Many, many fight scenes with a generous helping of lion dancing.
The film is thematically the style of Liu's previous films for the Shaw studios right down to the woman dressed as a man plot device. If the story was a little bit more substantial perhaps this film would be as well known as Liu's other classics. It's easy to imagine replacing the entire Mainland acting company with the Shaw regulars. The camera work is in the Shaw style but with the added benefit of gorgeous Mainland landscapes and famous landmarks. The action is classic Liu Chia Liang choreography with a Mainland Wu Shu twist. The mass action scenes are exceptional.
Great action, Jet Li playing a comic character, excellent photography. Recommended.
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