Urban Cinefile
"Let's have some new cliches."  -Sam Goldwyn
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday December 3, 2019 

Search SEARCH FOR A DVD
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

SHAOLIN TEMPLE, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Set in Sui Dynasty 7th century, it tells the tale of slave's son Chieh Yuan (Jet Li) who flees to the Shaolin Buddhist temple in the wake of his father's murder by Wang Schiu-chang a warlord who has overthrown legitimate ruler Li Shih-min. Rigorous instruction in kung-fu and Buddhist philosophy follows before Chieh Yuan takes his vengeance.

“The Shaolin Temple is famous everywhere...The Shaolin Temple is splendid". So goes the song that opens what's simply one of the best martial arts pictures ever made. The Shaolin Temple arrived six years after the death of Bruce Lee and re-invigorated the kung-fu film in much the same way as Lee's crossover hit The Big Boss had in 1969. Lame-name pretenders such as Bruce Li, Bruce Ly and Bruce Leee (sic!) made failed attempts to assume the crown before Jackie Chan in Hong Kong and 16 year-old mainland sensation Jet Li arrived to breathe new life into the staple form of Asian popular cinema.

He also engages in innocent romance with pretty local girl Bai Wu-Xia (Ding Lan) whom he meets after accidentally killing her dog and deciding to eat it. "Even a celestial being would jump at eating dog meat," he says as he roasts the unfortunate pooch.

The romance is sweet but that's not what we're really here for. We're here to witness the astonishing moves of charismatic Jet Li and a supporting cast of martial arts champions who stage some of the greatest fight scenes you could ever wish to see. The exercise routines of these Oriental supermen are just as breathtaking as they bounce, leap and spin on their heads with a mind-boggling flexibility that resembles an ancient version of breakdancing.

Crammed with elaborately staged and excitingly filmed action and loaded with heavy doses of Buddhist teaching - "Buddha is merciful, but not to evil ones" - this is a must, even if you think you've seen it all. Excellent SBS subtitles embedded in the black beneath the wide-screen frame rounds off the reasons to add this genuine classic to the collection.
Richard Kuipers

Published August 2, 2001

Email this article

You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia

SHAOLIN TEMPLE, THE (M)
China (1979)

CAST: Jet Li, Yu Cheng Wai, Yu Hai, Din Nan, Chang Jien Wun, Ji Chuan Wah

DIRECTOR: Chang Hsin Yen

RUNNING TIME: 92 min

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: The AV Channel

DVD RELEASE: May 23, 2001

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Widescreen 2.35:1, Jet Li Biography and Filmography. Language: Mandarin. Subtitles: English.







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2019