Wow! Such a good movie.
Terrible acting, screenplay and direction.
As somebody who had not heard any of this before, it became a curious phenomenon to sit and watch a film and slowly have the realities begin to click into place.
It is neither dumb nor smart enough to be fun, and spends way too much time with its boring human characters.
The first hour of this movie is great and brings out a solid emotional story mixed with kung-fu. But the second half it starts to become pretty darn ridiculous with poor development. And loses the emotional value it started out with. The story is basically about a warlord Hao Jie(Andy Lau) that starts off as a man that angry full with ambitions of power and wealth but also lacks compassion. And don't blink an eye even when taking lives. And his right hand man is Cao Man(Nicholas Tse). Hao Jie chooses his ambition and tries to wipe out his own sworn brother in war. And Cao Man uses it as an opportunity to overthrow Hao Jie. And Hao Jie becomes a wanted man and ends up in a shaolin temple. And Hao Jie starts to learn the ways of the shaolin temple. Hao Jie also meets one of the head monk by the name of Jing Neng played by jacky wu who looks like the Korean actor Chun Jung-Myung a lot. Andy Lau did a good job of playing the cold character and also a sympathetic one. Nicholas Tse tries to pull off that drunk don't give a crap looking like high all the time type of villain. But he doesn't quite seem to pull it off like how Lee Byung-hun is able to pull off. The problem is with this movie is that there just isn't enough development where it's needed. Hao Jie makes a 180 degree change way too drastically and some of the characters you don't get attached to at all. Although they take up some screen time. This is mainly do to a lot of the deleted scenes that is added on to extras for the DVD. In fact I think some deleted scenes should have been added onto the movie. Cause some parts has some character development so it adds to the value of those characters. So when they die it actually leaves a bit of an impact. But that isn't the case for this movie, I honestly didn't care who lives or who dies just which side wins as the end. I usually always like Jackie Chan in movies but his over the top kung-fu takes away from this movie. Since this is a serious kung-fu flick and not a fantasy one. If this carried the flare it had for the first half with the second half it would have been a great film but as it is. It's a pretty mediocre flick.6.6/10
There's nothing better than a film with an uplifting moral message bought to you interspersed with lots of martial arts action and blowing stuff up. I can therefore heartily recommend this film.Whilst being a good watch there is also some good old-fashioned silly translations to add to the enjoyment. "Don't mess with the Shaolin Temple" is one fine example and another is "You bastards come and attack the temple, I'll send you to the Netherworld." (I don't know if you get this with the English soundtrack as I was watching the subtitled version.) There's a solid storyline and the usual stuff about the baddie finding redemption and making good his evil ways but it's not as 2-dimensional as these plots often are as you see the effect on Andy Lau's wife and daughter in no uncertain terms. The martial arts action is good though not outstanding. Jackie Chan has a supporting role but when he does eventually get an action scene it is laugh out loud funny and absolutely true to the character he plays in the film.It's not the world's best film but it would be hard to go wrong with this if you want to watch an entertaining epic with lots of action. I'm intrigued to know how much of the battles scenes and destruction of buildings was CGI and how much miniatures. I suspect it was a mixture. I'll have to listen to the DVD commentary to find out
There's just no need for stories that have been already told in a simpler and fresher way in 30 years of kungfu movie. This is not an action movie because the action is scarce and mediocre (there's should be a rule setting a minimum of martial arts, in terms of quantity and quality, in a martial arts movie). Is not an historical movie. It's not a kungfu movie, because the martial art scenes are nothing special. The movie is slow, with excesses of drama and floods of fake dark blood. The plot is unreal. The cameo of Jacky Chan slowly turning into a second Sammo Hung has been seen hundreds of times in hundreds of movies and has noting to do with the rest of the movie. With gems like Ip Man around, there's no one single reason to waste time on this pure nonsense. A boring melodrama, with poor action and an excess of histrionics.
SPOILERS!!! Andy Lau (Hou Jie) plays a blood thirsty tyrant who thinks nothing of eliminating all his opponents in cold blood - even if they happen to be his sworn brothers. Eventually the cruel and cunning Hou gets ambushed in a double-cross perpetrated by his trusted aide. Hou loses everything he cherishes and is forced to take refuge in Shaolin temple, one of the places he had desecrated in his search for an enemy.You can probably guess the rest. The movie's plot is not its strongest point but rather the characters and the acting. The fight scenes are excellent as well without going overboard on the wire-fu. The scenery and cinematography are excellent, looking very realistic.8/10