Shaolin Rescuers is not the best Shaw Brothers production with the Venoms, but it is still extremely entertaining and filled with high-energy fight scenes.
It is always a pleasure to see the familiar faces of the Venoms and see how each character and choreography plays to their strengths. This one includes more comedic bits between the charismatic Lo Meng and Phillip Kwok as two food service industry workers (tofu maker and waiter, respectively) who use their environment to practice and learn kung-fu; it is a sheer thrill just to see Phillip Kwok use rice bowls and chopsticks as weapons. Lu Feng here plays the dapper villain -- no surprise; Sun Chien shows off his amazing leg work, and the always likable Chiang Sheng displays his acrobatic prowess, especially when using two edged weapons.
The plot revolves around Lo Meng and Phillip Kwok slowly grinding out a living while harboring ambitions of making a name for themselves somehow; until that moment they practice their kung-fu in secret. When Pai Mei and his Wu-Tang clan start killing off the followers of Shaolin, and a fleeing survivor crosses paths with Lo Meng and Phillip Kwok, their chance to fulfill their destinies comes into focus. With the aid of Sun Chien, a student of kung-fu adept at fighting on raised wooden poles, and Chiang Sheng, the two use their abilities to aid the fleeing survivor.
At times ridiculous and goofy -- Phillip Kwok often mugs it up with his finger up his nose -- and at other times exciting and thoughtful, this movie is certainly a must for fans of these actors, martial arts enthusiasts and Shaw Brothers completists.