Shaolin Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 9, 2011
Fantasy martial arts tale built on the simple story of a man who makes a terrible mistake, hurting everyone who loved him, and spends the rest of his life clearing his mind, rebuilding the way he sees the world and atoning for his sins by protecting the weak. A simple, solid story that was beautifully acted and really moved me. Everyone finds their place. And of course I've been an Andy Lau fan my whole life because people think my dad looks like him. Or should I say, he looks like my dad.
Super Reviewer
February 6, 2012
Really good film. Lots of great choreography. Jackie Chan shows up in this, and he adds alot of humor. The only thing that took away from the movie was the foreign troops that show up to cause conflict...the lead soldier was a horrible actor. But that is such a small section, and it doesn't take away from this film. Good all around movie.
sanjurosamurai
Super Reviewer
October 27, 2011
the film had some excellent moments. the story was predictable but still engaging, some of the action was solid, and the film looked great. however there was so much about this film that disappointed. some of the action was silly, and the end of the film fell flat at so many moments. i was looking forward to this film with much anticipation, but in the end, it was just a tad above average.
DragonEyeMorrison
Super Reviewer
August 22, 2011
A decent effort, no big surprises here, but the whole thing is done with enough conviction and skill, just a bit too predictable and one dimensional. Bad guys learn their lessons, evil foreigners want to steal chinese treasures, and so on. Not bad if you want a kung fu fix, but there's no hurry to watch this one.
deano
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2011
A very fun, surprisingly thoughtful, monk masterpiece. This martial arts action film encompasses combat, explosions and moments of introspection.
This transformation is at the heart of director Benny Chan's film, which differentiates itself splendidly from the recent crop of period epics with a generous infusion of Buddhist teachings. These nuggets of wisdom elevate Shaolin into a surprisingly thoughtful film, meditating on the fruitlessness of anger, violence and hatred, and preaching ever persuasiveness the merits of peace, compassion and love.
Andy Lau does a wonderful performance as the egotistical warlord on the pursuit of riches and power and as the reformed monk who realises the folly of his past ways.
Benny Chan brings on Jackie Chan in an amusing role as the resident Shaolin cook Wu Dao, a laid-back fellow perfectly content with his circumstance. It is not unlike the one Jackie played in Little Big Soldier two years ago, but it's always enjoyable to see the veteran gongfu actor back on screen, especially in a particularly entertaining sequence where he uses his cooking skills to good measure against the soldiers.
skactopus
Super Reviewer
January 7, 2011
Shaolin is an example of Benny Chan putting together a good action period piece.With a title and cast members that point toward an action packed martial arts extravaganza, Shaolin instead puts great emphasis on story. So much so that the film runs over 2 hours. It is a bit long, but for what transpires throughout the story, it does seem appropriate. The lead character goes through a huge transformation and with the help of some amusing, although under utilized side characters, this picture does make the most of its run time.The martial arts comes complete with stunning choreography. It is spread throughout the entire picture, but ultimately a big chunk of it is unleashed for the explosive finale.Shaolin places a lot of focus on Andy Lau's character and he makes the most of it. Nicholas Tse delivers an effective ruthless performance, while the likes of Wu Jing, Xing Yu, and Jackie Chan provide the more laid back and lively performances.In the end, Shaolin doesn't thrive on its action, but more on its story and theme of inner peace.
Cinema-Maniac
Super Reviewer
December 13, 2011
I hesitated considering to watch this seeing the Tomatometer of the users rating. After watching this, I knew I was watching one of the most under-rated movie to ever be reviewed by critics and users.

The problem with most of these user reviews is that they excepted ton of action and were disappointed for some reason. It's like watching Red Cliff and Bodyguards and Assassins, I expected allot of action, but it didn't make them bad movies. While you may disappointed in the lack of action, like other users, the action sequences it does have are terrific in many ways and won't disappoint.

Another complain I want to address is that people thought the movie was predictable, when I watched it didn't feel predictable. I actually thought the characters were well written and the actors fit well into their role. The story on the other hand was superb in my opinion, I just couldn't believe how this movie blew my mind away. I think most of these negatives came from people who missed the great spiritual dialogue coming from the Buddhists and the spiritual message of the movie.

In my opinion, it's great movie with a good story line and though lacking in great martial art sequences to some, the action in this won't disappoint. So, don't let the score fool you, pick up this movie, and hopefully you have same experience as I did when I watched it.
Super Reviewer
December 13, 2011
In SHAOLIN, a fantastic first act with stunning action sequences and compelling drama is drastically offset by an uneven remainder of the film in which cliche plot elements and bad direction painfully take over. Director Benny Chan's story of the destruction of the Shaolin Temple is impressive to watch and easy to appreciate from every technical standpoint, but the narrative falters as it progresses, resulting in muddled and inconsistent pacing - a pity given the big budget and ambitious designs.

A great group of performers along with excellent action choreography are complemented by vast production sets and camerawork to create a truly epic feel. An exciting carriage chase and sweeping coverage of Shaolin monks training highlight the superb visual spectacle. While Andy Lau delivers a fine all-around performance as a warlord-turned-monk (a character with a strong and emotional story arc), his costars suffer from what seems like hastily-written characters despite also providing bravura acting. For instance, Nicholas Tse's villainous General Tsao Man becomes much too cartoony with his emo-hairstyle, evil smirks, and stilted dialogue, while Jackie Chan's moments become as forced as Wu Jing is underused. The script sacrifices its focus on narrative strength at times for cliche segments of oversentimentality, which appear merely to provide stirring nationalism that has become much to prevalent in contemporary Chinese cinema - a crippling and extremely unfortunate hindrance to not only this film but the entire industry itself.

Nevertheless, SHAOLIN delivers the goods in terms of action and scope; simply an entertaining film that sadly could have been so much more.
Super Reviewer
½ January 25, 2012
Totally awesome story of a group of Shaolin Monks that go up and above their tranquil lives to defend and care for the weak, defenseless and the needy from the greed and oppression of the tyrannical and power hungry General Hou Jie's (Andy Lau) army. As things later turn out his own teachings of the acquisition of the "spoils of war" turns the table on him so severely that he in turn surrenders his destructive ways to the calm and preservation teachings of the Shaolin Monk. The teachings become such an inspiration to him after tragedy crippled him mentally and spiritually that he too becomes one of the monks with the assistance of the Cook (Jackie Chan) As fate would later have it...his past soon comes into play that the very Shaolin Temple becomes in danger of coming under attack...where protection the very shrine becomes a very necessary thing to eventually do. See this it is truly an enlightening and inspirational story that show the power of harnessing your inner strength when it looks as if everything is all lost. Please see this martial arts extravaganza!
Super Reviewer
½ December 5, 2011
"Shaolin" has an overused and predictable linear storyline. What makes it worth seeing is the martial arts sequences and the chance to see Andy Lau and Nicholas Tse fight it out, and Jackie Chan popping in and out of action.
PantaOz
Super Reviewer
July 29, 2011
I wanted to see this movie with all my heart... and that's why I was so dissapointed at the end... I expected so much more! Shaolin, also known as The New Shaolin Temple, is a 2011 film directed by Benny Chan, starring Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse, Wu Jing, Xing Yu, and Fan Bingbing, with a special appearance by Jackie Chan. It is an updated version of Jet Li's film debut, The Shaolin Temple which I loved and I lived in hope that this new one will make even better...

The film is set in Dengfeng, Henan, during the warlord era of early Republican China. The warlord Hou Jie defeats a rival named Huo Long and seizes control of Dengfeng. Huo Long flees to Shaolin Temple to hide but Hou Jie appears and shoots him. Hou Jie ridicules the Shaolin monks before leaving. And the faith starts its role... things change quickly and the vilains have a chance to become good guys...

I won't go to the story too much, if you see it it can spoil some of the moments...

This carefully crafted film started in October 2009 with a jubilant ceremony held inside Shaolin Monastery. News first spread of the project when the film's co-star Jackie Chan announced on his official website that he was involved with the project but was not able to talk about it due to contract restrictions. Chan and his crew built their own "Shaolin Temple" in Zhejiang province that cost 10 million yuan (US$1.47 million) to avoid damaging the actual temple. The cast members shaved their heads bald for filming, whereas Chan, who wore a hat, shaved around his head where his hair was sticking out. I loved the final result of the whole effort but I was dissaponted with the lack of "spirit" in the actual feel of the movie... it was always something BIG lacking... on the edge most of the time... but I can't say it was a bad movie!

And if you like theme song, Wu (悟), it was performed by Andy Lau himself... (by the way his left hand was injured while he was filming a fight scene not signing).
cobaein
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2011
The learning that i get from this movie is Attitude, Accepting, and you didnt need a reason to help somebody... Shaolin shows about even the world dont accept someone (maybe because his past and unforgiveable sins) shaolin always accept it...
On this movies, it was very easy to became shaolin apprentice and learn shaolin kungfu... On others shaolin movies, it was so hard, the training etc etc. I dont know if this is an compliment for this movies or not.
And about the shaolin again? does it as easy as this movie to destroy the shaolin temple? is kungfu beaten by gun or infantry? ~i guess i seen some shaolin monk in real life, perform their abilities of kungfu, the can use needle as a gun... etc etc~ perhaps this movies wanna show the Attitude that every people deserved a life, not killed.

What i ddnt like is the usual Andy lau on epic movies, Die at the end. I was hoping that Jacky chan would do more action rather than Andy lau... :p
Aamitabha... :)
Super Reviewer
½ January 31, 2012
I'm a big fan of foreign fight films. This one actually leans more toward the side of epic than action movie though. A man's transformation from bad guy to good guy isn't far-fetched, but it's so sudden that with 2 hours to work with, they chose to make that one of the least looked at story points.

If you're expecting to watch Jackie Chan whoop ass, forget it. He's done doing most action fight scenes (even though there is one with him in it). This one is all Andy Lau, and he's not bad at all. The choreography is well done.

This is was a good B movie, but because it's not really based off anything from history, I was left not caring much about the temple...just seeing the fight scenes, and when they happen, they deliver.
August Seria
Super Reviewer
½ October 29, 2011
Not the best historical chinese film out there. But just like the ones that is, Shaolin has the great action sequences and a great, though a little predictable, story. I think what this movie lacks is a little use of good humor.
mvieaddict
Super Reviewer
December 21, 2011
Director Benny Chan came with a new adaptation of the classic Shaolin only with a new cast. Here we had Andy Lau in the leading role, playing Hou Chieh, a ruthless warlord who crossed path with the Shaolin Temple and experienced his transformation from a ruthless warlord to a monk with compassion. Together with Nicholas Tse and Jackie Chan in a special appearance, Shaolin delivered a good amount of martial arts and great cinematography. There was nothing new in the plot, as we could see Andy Lau repenting from his sins he made in the past and how he defended what he believed in. Remarkable was Jackie Chan who, from cheesy roles in action blockbusters, he perfectly cast superstar Andy Lau in a role that allowed him to act. At the end I must say it was a effective film for what it is. It did entertained, but failed to delivers anything special or original to make it a a good film.
March 25, 2012
Best film since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It shows how someone can be given a second chance even to a man like General Hou.
March 6, 2012
One of the vest period flicks I've seen in a good long while. This film has true heart and soul. The action scenes are well choreographed and do credit to Chinese cinema. Chan as a secondary character really shows his character and humility. In a word, Great.
August 16, 2011
Entertaining movie but that`s about it. The fight scenes were rather redundant and the dialogue was horrible. If there`s one thing I hate about movies it`s having to read as I`m trying to watch.
July 1, 2011
Lots of fighting, some comedy, and a lot of betrayal. I wish there was more jackie chan though. His fighting and comedy would have brought another aspect to the movie.
May 27, 2015
Super production China with action scenes, many action scenes mean. With nice comic moments, good production design, good acting, good direction in the action sequences, but ultimately full of cliches of the genre that make it all comes down.
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