Starring: Andy Lau,Nicholas Tse,Wu Jing,Jackie Chan
Directed By: Benny Chan
Produced By: Jackie Chan
aka: New Shaolin Temple
Announced and filmed in 2010 ''Shaolin'' aka New Shaolin Temple is a loose remake of Jet Li's debut film Shaolin Temple.
With Benny Chan at the helm directing ,the film follows the story of one Hou Jie ( Andy Lau Tak Wah) a Warlord with a ruthless way about him . From the outset we see Hou Jie confront a rival Hou Long who escapes to Shaolin Temple for sanctuary .
But along with his side kick Cao Man ( Nicholas Tse) they storm Shaolin and Kill Hou Long with no shame and belittling Shaolin at the same time. Now Hou Jie has other adversaries closer to home ,his sworn brother Song Hu . Between them they have divided the areas for rule. But Hou Jie suspects Song hu will take advantage of him so begins a plot to rid the world of Song Hu once and for all , but little does he know that his own disciple Cao Man will double cross him and give him a taste of his own doings.
All is set for a feast between the brothers where their wives and Children will be in attendance , it all starts with rejoice and a coming together of families ,but when Song Hu receives word of a ambush the polite and family affair becomes a bloodbath as Cao Man sends in troops to kill not only Song Hu's men but also Huo Jie his wife kids and all who stand against the power hungry Cao Man .
Fleeing for his life Hou Jie loses track of his wife ,but manges to find his daughter who is under attack from Cao Man's men. Fleeing with his daughter under fire Hou Jie escapes with his daughter in a horse and cart ,but when things get out of hand and they are forced to jump form the cart or face certain death Hou Njie's daughter Shengnan sustains injury.
Hou Jie's only hope is to get her to Shaolin to see if they can save her. Luck enough Hou Jie's wife Yan Xi ( Fan Bing Bing) has come to Shaolin for Sanctuary with the aid of some Monks. But that's where the luck runs out , unable to save the young girl Hou Jie berates the monks as he losses all self control .
It's here at Shaolin that he will get better from his own wounds ,even though many of the monks are not pleased to see the man who had killed so many in the past for power .
Under the care of the cook Wudao ( Jackie Chan) who helps Hou Jie regain his health , whislt at the same time telling him some home truths and adding a comic relief to the proceedings.
In the end starts to understand the Way of Shaolin and vows to stay and become a Monk (even shaving his own head to fit in) but his road to full enlightenment is still a way off.
Meanwhile Cao Man who has taken control of the army is using them to enslave the locals to unearth relics which are then sold on to wealthy Foreigners who want to build a railway system. Thing is the locals are trapped and once they are finished with they are killed to stop them telling anyone.
One night Hou Jie stumbles on some locals and helps them escape ,but this exposes him which now lets Cao Man know he is still alive.
Now Cao Man is intent on killing Hou Jie and attacks Shaolin ,while this goes on many monks stay behind to protect Shaolin to no avail ,while others including Wudao lead the locals to safety . Now with Cao Man's new focus on getting Hou Jie ,the foreigners feel cheated and let loose a barrage of Artillery on to Shaolin ,thus destroying it in the process. .
As Hou Jie faces Cao Man and other Shaolin monks die fighting for Shaolin it is left to Wudao and a few to look to the future keep Shaolin alive.
Now I have seen quite a few reviews or comments f this film in recent months ,and I am glad I waited a bit longer to see it . As at the time of it's release It was up against quite few top films .
Also by waiting till August to review it ,it ties in with the UK release of the film to . Even though the one I am watching is the Hong Kong DTS version 2 disc edition. .
As far as comparing this to the original I think though the basis of the story is similar there are key elements which are different . Of course both leads share the same characteristics that they are both full of hate for their enemy and how they enter Shaolin but never quite fit in totally .
Jet Li's character was enslaved at the beginning of his film and then escaped taking Sanctuary after the troops had destroyed his land and his father killed.
The action comes thick and fast with many well choreographed fights featuring a star studded cast ,all who give it their all in the action stakes.
The conflict between Hou Jie and Cao Man is well thought out and you can see the anguish on Cao Man's face as he puts up with the ruling of Hou Jie .
Like wise Wu Jing who plays the head senior Jingneng at the temple is cool and shows his contempt for the ruling warlords and their army.
Many have said that Jackie's role was a bit to comical for the story and plot ,but Jackie as Wudao brings a quality to the screen that only lifts the film higher in my opinion. Any way what's wrong with a bit of light relief ,it worked very well in many past Hong Kong films .
Plus the scenes between Jackie and Andy Lau are worth their weight in Gold ,it's so good to see these two working together again. .
I believe if you loved your classic Hong Kong action from the 80's then this film is a nostalgic return to a good formula with added oomph! .
Score out of Ten = A riveting 9
Review Date: 16-08-11
Facts of Shaolin the film
Many of the cast shaved their heads for the film.
Jackie Chan only shaved around his head where his hair stuck out from his hat
Benny Chan had a replica Shaolin Temple built so the original would not get damaged.
( No CGI here then)
It cost $1.47 million to build the replica.
Andy Lau injured his hand whilst filming a fight.
Budget of the film was US$30.5 million
The Forthcoming release from Cine Asia on Blu Ray
|Directed by||Benny Chan|
|Produced by||Benny Chan|
|Written by||Alan Yuen|
|Starring||Andy Lau |
|Music by||Nicolas Errèra |
(additional music : Anthony Chue)
|Editing by||Yau Chi-wai|
|Studio||Emperor Motion Pictures |
China Film Group Corporation
Huayi Brothers Media Corporation
Beijing Silver Moon Productions Ltd.
China Songshan Shaolin Temple Culture Communication Center
|Distributed by||Emperor Motion Pictures|
|Release date(s)||19 January 2011 (China) |
27 January 2011 (Hong Kong)
|Running time||131 minutes|
|Country||Hong Kong |