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China is plunged into strife as feuding warlords try to expand their power by warring over neighboring lands. Fuelled by his success on the battlefield, young and arrogant Hao Jie sneers at Shaolin's masters after killing a rival warlord on their temple grounds. But the glory comes before a fall. His own family is wiped out in an unexpected turn of events and Hao is forced to take refuge with the monks. As the civil unrest spreads and the people suffer, Hao and the Shaolin masters are forced to take a fiery stand against the evil warlords. They launch a daring plan of rescue and escape. Written by
There's nothing better than a film with an uplifting moral message bought to you interspersed with lots of martial arts action and blowing stuff up. I can therefore heartily recommend this film.
Whilst being a good watch there is also some good old-fashioned silly translations to add to the enjoyment. "Don't mess with the Shaolin Temple" is one fine example and another is "You bastards come and attack the temple, I'll send you to the Netherworld." (I don't know if you get this with the English soundtrack as I was watching the subtitled version.)
There's a solid storyline and the usual stuff about the baddie finding redemption and making good his evil ways but it's not as 2-dimensional as these plots often are as you see the effect on Andy Lau's wife and daughter in no uncertain terms. The martial arts action is good though not outstanding. Jackie Chan has a supporting role but when he does eventually get an action scene it is laugh out loud funny and absolutely true to the character he plays in the film.
It's not the world's best film but it would be hard to go wrong with this if you want to watch an entertaining epic with lots of action. I'm intrigued to know how much of the battles scenes and destruction of buildings was CGI and how much miniatures. I suspect it was a mixture. I'll have to listen to the DVD commentary to find out
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