Gordon Liu portrays a Buddhist monk who abandons his post at a Buddhist temple when the temple is attacked by Japanese troops during World War II. After he leaves the temple, he takes on ...
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Gordon Liu portrays a Buddhist monk who abandons his post at a Buddhist temple when the temple is attacked by Japanese troops during World War II. After he leaves the temple, he takes on two misfit apprentices portrayed by Eric Tsang and Liu Chia-yung. Together, they battle the villains,
WARRIOR FROM SHAOLIN is a Gordon Liu-starring kung fu film with a more updated setting than usual: it's the early to mid 20th century, and Liu plays a Buddhist monk whose temple is attacked by the invading Japanese army. He fights back but is forced to flee by the overwhelming forces, taking refuge in a quiet village where he gains a couple of apprentices and tries to lead a quiet life.
Of course, the various traitorous foes of the film have other ideas, which is where the action comes in. It's certainly well-shot with a wealth of talent behind and in front of the cameras, although it's just shy of becoming a memorable classic; the low budget hurts the production a bit. What I found amusing was that despite the updated setting, this is a film that could easily have been set a century before. The mid part of the film is of the usual provincial humour variety, with much of the running time given over to the hijinks of the comic apprentices.
Kung fu fans will find some elements to enjoy here, not least a performance from the youthful Eric Tsang, who has some good comedy fight scenes. His Bruce Lee impression has to be seen to be believed. Watch out for torture on a water wheel, brief use of the famous Wong Fei Hong theme, and random cutting from broad comedy to brutal violence. Liu makes a strong and steadfast central presence playing his typecast role, and Lily Li has a rare turn as one of the villains. My favourite moment is the random interlude involving hopping vampires that has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the movie.
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