One of those films that impresses you, even though it fails to set itself apart from other films in the genre.
| Original Score: 7/10
Jackie Chan brings some warm energy to his supporting role -- a rarity for this big star -- and turns in a delightfully self-effacing performance.
| Original Score: 3/5
| Original Score: B+
Frequently gripping and featuring a surprisingly spry supporting turn by Jackie Chan, it's a sturdy if unremarkable effort.
Shaolin is simultaneously regal and stilted, stirring and sluggish.
An ambitious, almost epic drama that devotes as much time to introspection as it does to combat.
| Original Score: B
This rousing Shaolin is notable for the compassionate Buddhist philosophy that underpins what otherwise might have been just another Hong Kong period piece.
"Shaolin" fits in the more somber kung-fu tradition. But it also finds room for the genre's comic strain.
The epic feel to this Hong Kong action-drama helps balance a lack of hand-to-hand combat scenes.
Shaolin features a half-dozen impressive action set pieces, including an elaborate carriage chase and a battle inside the cages where Cao imprisons his workers.
The kung fu itself is great fun to watch, from the discipline of balancing on one foot on a wooden pillar, the other in the air, for hours at a time to the confrontations that send fist and feet flying.
This is not a subtle film, and certainly not a great one, but it's made with bubbling brio and it's spectacular to look at. It's action filmmaking of the highest order.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Fists fly furiously and much blood is spilled; there's a sacrifice via sword that's both cringe-inducing and cheerworthy.
"Shaolin" compares favorably with the biggest blockbuster Hollywood has to offer.
| Original Score: B-
With its mix of high octane martial arts and Eastern spirituality, Shaolin succeeds as a stirring anti-violence action epic.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Well-mounted Chinese-Hong Kong martial-arts co-production Shaolin elevates enlightenment above brute strength, but weak helming undercuts the pic's punch.
A bloody tale of redemption, with a credibility gap.
An expansive, energetic, big-budget martial arts action film that encompasses combat, explosions and moments of introspection.
Despite out of place comic relief from Jackie Chan, this deftly weaves history and politics, while boasting brilliant martial arts.
A thoroughly satisfying period action flick with heart and soul; a wholesome step on the path to cinematic enlightenment.
| Original Score: 4/5