Martial Arts of Shaolin

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Average Rating: 3.8/5

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This is the third in a series of Shaolin Temple films starring China's martial arts champion Jet Li (aka Li Lianjie). Li's good looks, star presence, and stunning gymnastics -- as he twists, turns, and somersaults through a series of well-choreographed battles -- carry this otherwise routine action film. He plays Zhi Ming, trained in the Northern Shaolin Temple after his father was murdered by the evil magistrate He Suo. Zhi Ming plans on attacking the magistrate during a lion dance performed at an annual festival. That attempt at retribution fails but introduces him to Sima, a woman who was trained in the Southern Shaolin Temple after her father was framed by He Suo. (The translation of the title for this film is North-South Shaolin Temple.) In fact, Zhi Ming's father died because he protested the treatment of his friend, Sima's father. It does not take long for Sima and Zhi Ming to discover that they have matching ankle bracelets -- meaning they were betrothed by their parents while still too young to know what that meant. Now they team up to bring down He Suo, engaging their enemies on the Great Wall of China and in the Forbidden City. Jet Li would make another Shaolin film in 1994 and gained recognition in the West when he played Mel Gibson's nemesis in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998).

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Critic Reviews for Martial Arts of Shaolin

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Audience Reviews for Martial Arts of Shaolin

Martial Arts of Shoalin is the first and only collaboration between Jet Li and Lau Kar-Leung. There is some slightly unconventional weapon use as well. This is also one of the few times that Jet Li has used this particular combination of weapons on screen, and it turns out to be one of his best fight sequences. This is Yue Sing-Wai's best action performance, and he delivers it with his signature style. It's some of the best fighting Lau Kar-Leung ever choreographed. It is a combination of the best that Hong Kong and mainland China had to offer at the time.

Steven Vincent Gee
Steven Vincent Gee

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