San Te: So many people have had to suffer because of men who have the same attitude as you.
Widely regarded as the greatest kung fu film of all time, this iscertainly no overstatement. 36th Chamber of Shaolin is truly the film to see where you have some really good fight choreography and a very strong plot, all while filling out all of the various factors one would think of when concerning a kung fu film.
Gordon Lui stars as a young man at a time of crisis in China. The anti-Ching patriots, under the guidance of Ho Kuang-han, have secretly set up their base in Canton, disguised as school masters. During a brutal Manchu attack, Lui manages to escape and devotes himself to learning the martial arts in the Shaolin Temple, in order to seek revenge. During this time, he learns the ways of Shaolin, soon understanding what is more to life than just his thoughts of revenge. Following years of training, some in a brutal sense, Lui has the chance to return to his hometown.
While the beginning sets things in motion, the movie really kicks into gear once Lui's training begins. It is here where the movie truly shines, showing us the kind of devotion and elements to think of when looking at Shaolin. This film easily has my favorite training scenes of all time, devoting a bulk of its run time to a character learning his ways in an entertaining and solidly made fashion.
The fight choreography is great here. Mixing the cheesy sounds of a kung fu flick with the long shots of these performers performing many moves at a time, without the aid of rapid editing or noticeably clever camera tricks. This truly stands as one of the great, influential kung fu films.
If there was ever a place for someone to start on kung fu films with, and ones that they could both enjoy and take seriously, this would be it.
Monk: You may challenge me at any time you wish.