A young man, hounded by a psychopathic general, learns martial arts at the Shaolin temple to avenge his father's death. To achieve this he forgoes a budding romance with his kungfu master's daughter, a shepherdess.
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, and sets out to kill the traitor, who killed his father. The monks have to help him, and in the process, they save the true emperor, who rewards them greatly. Based on a true story from Shaolin folklore, but highly fictionalized.Written by
"The Shaolin Temple" is the first Chinese martial arts film to use gongfu artists instead of actors. Initially, the Japanese investors hired actors, but didn't like the results, so they hired regional and national wushu champions. Although Jet Li is the main character and his wushu is exceptional, don't underestimate the other gongfu artists; they are just as good. The film was two years in the making due to injuries the cast received doing their own stunts. The credits state that the fight choreography was done by Pan Qing Fu, but this is not so. The cast choreographed their own fight scenes and deserve the credit they've been denied.
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