I have to admit it, when it comes to Shaolin Kung Fu, I am a movie junkie. I even watch the bad movies and think they are great. This brings me to Shaolin, a movie which was released here in Los Angeles this last week.
The movie has moments of genius, not because of the kung fu, but because it is so well crafted as a story, with real characters (Andy Lau was phenomenal!), and…the Shaolin Temple.
And, to be sure, the Kung Fu was absolutley thrilling. From lackadaisical monks training on tall poles, to fighting scenes where you saw some real…stuff. Really great stuff.
Now, that being said, the sad part is that it appears that the movie was made in Hollywood. By that I mean it appears it was put together in committee. By that…I mean that they kept slicing in little pieces of this and that to please some producer who put in some money, had some pull, had an ax to grind…and so on.
It’s was like watching a gr-r-r-eat movie, maybe something like Schindler’s List, and having Julie Andrews come on stage and burst intot he Sound of Music.
Well, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but to an aficionado, yes, it was that bad.
The most glaring of this was Jackie Chan’s character. He has a peculiar relationship with Kung fu, and they pull that off, then, in a grand fighting finale, they have a bunch of schtick and cheering Kung Fu brats. If that sounds weird, go see the movie and see if you disagree.
Still, I give the movie Shaolin high stars, recommend you see it highly, and you will really enjoy the kung fu, and the training sequences. Drop by Monster Martial Arts and pick up a free martial arts book.