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In a young Republic of China, where greedy warlords fuel a period of war and strife, Hou Jie (Andy Lau) arrogantly shows no mercy to his enemies seeking refuge with the benign and compassionate Shaolin monks. After unscrupulously killing a wounded enemy, Hou Jie pays a terrible price for his actions and is forced to seek refuge in the same Shaolin Monastery he blatantly disrespected. Hou Jie s traitorous second-in-command Cao Man (Nicholas Tse) continues where the once-warlord left off, betraying his country and his own people. Hou Jie must adapt to Shaolin principles to stop the monster he created.
"Brilliant action sequences boasting martial arts on par with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" --Film Link
A big budget action film packed full of stars with an official seal of approval from the Shaolin Temple itself" --Heroic Cinema
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The lead actor and actress and main supporting actor are splendid and their characters are unique and fairly well developed.
The story is by turns dramatic, epic, tragic, heartwarming, moving, and entertaining. Jackie Chan has a touching supportive role.
The Temple Abbot is the epitome of life time commitment to martial arts and meditation, an elder who is compassionate and wise who also holds his own in a fight is and far from frail, and there's a wonderful scene at about 1:07 involving a repenting former warlord who is learning deep reflection, practicing with a school-aged monk who is already very proficient on a cold night while the Abbot and the Cook watch on, unnoticed. For me this scene is touching in how much the man misses his own daughter, but gets along with such sweetness with the boy, who holds his own with the adult, and watching them moving in sync is rather beautiful.
It's a violent action blockbuster, combined with historical fiction, combined with family and village drama, combined with the humble grandeur and legend of Shaolin.
Is it perfectly accurate in its depiction of things in all details? Likely not, but how it approaches and blends so many elements is fascinating and rewarding, with themes of sin and redemption and our shared humanity that are woven throughout but in ways that are not heavy handed.
i was blown away, it just hit me like bam. wasnt something i was expecting to be honest.
Unbelievable. The movie had all the funny, drama, tragedy, and action you will need.
its beautiful master piece. The acting is great, music is great, and so is the action. The movie is quite a tear jerker really
this movie actually requires a certain level of intellect to actually understand and comprehend the lessons the movie is trying to show the viewers and the deep meaning of shaolin
(ex: a 12 year old's concept of the movie will be different from a 17 or 18 year old )
but doesnt mean you cant enjoy the movie if your 12 or under!
i have seen this movie plenty of times since the day i bought it, and it still gets me every time.
We can argue all day and night whether if this movie re-watchable, but one that we all agree is on is that you HAVE
to see it at least once, and while your watching it just order your own blu ray copy now. it is definitively worth it!
id probably even pay 30$ for this movie.
The practices of the Shaolin priests and their compassion towards those less fortunate was outstanding! This seems to be just what is missing in today's so called "culture." I was particularly impressed with the show of non-judgmental positions that can be taken regarding those that have wronged innocent people and have been brought down off of their egotistical high horses, back down to earth; humbled. this is a great movie for those who think they have it all: fame; ill gotten money, stolen property; and the delusional attitude that nothing can harm them because of their "money..." I give this film a two thumbs up---KUDOS!
You would think that this type of movie would employ more west versus east fighting with the warlords relying more heavily than they do on western weaponry rather than their hand-to-hand prowess but you'd be wrong. There certainly is the explicit evil of the advanced western machinery of destruction, but the soldiers are no slouches to employing their fists and feet in the service of subjugation. Thus we get an ample amount of fighting, some of it rueful and bitterly violent, and some of it delightful and laughable (as when the monastery boys fight in a child's inimitably small style and Jackie Chan, here portrayed as a kindhearted but mentally limited strongman, uses his wok to rock heads). This is a decent Hong Kong actioner and worth the time for those who eat this stuff up. But as has been said before, fans of Chan (who is featured prominently on the cover) need to look elsewhere to watch him in a starring role as this movie has him in but a small supporting role.
Ultimately the bad guys are generally unsympathetic and rueful characters except for warlord Hou Jie (played by veteran Andy Lau) who goes through a painful redemption. The Shaolin monks are a bit more nuanced as they show more emotional hostility and distrust and less intuitiveness than normal. For those looking only for slam bang kung fu action they will get some but may overall be disappointed by more story than they're expecting.