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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 8 June 2011
Shaolin is one of those films you will want to watch again and again. A stellar cast which gels ever so well is accompanied by a great script and beautiful music score.
The film itself is pretty much about how one mans greed impacts and has a disastrous effect on his family and ultimately this is a tale of his rebirth.
Andy Lau plays Hao Jie and he beats his rivals who in turn take their revenge by wiping out his family.
Hao Jie (Lau) is arrogant and sneers at the shaolin monks compassion and humanity but when the tables are turned on him, those same monks now stand between Hao and his rivals.
Shaolin is led by the talented Andy Lau, Wu Jing, Jacky Chan and Nicholas Tse and several other notable actors, but its their interactions which gives this film life and the actions sequences are frequent, direct and very well filmed and thank god all the cast are vastly experienced in action.
On a personal note i loved this film and found it emotive and its one not to be missed.
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on 28 August 2013
A brilliant and beautifully woven story. Some of the scenes in this movie were hauntingly poignant. Intense, emotional, powerful - all of this impacted by some fantastically choreographed fights. Absolutely worth a watch.
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on 15 October 2013
The scale of the film Shaolin, the accessible score, the occasional comedic elements all convey a film that would be superior flick to discover on a sunday afternoon. However, the violence is punchy, immediate & often brutal. Some of the scenes i would say linger just a shade longer than is necessary for the audience to grasp how harsh this world was. Saying this though, the martial arts married to the philosophical shaolin,zen, buddhistic elements are thorough and constant.

So a religious epic that sports many action scenes that portray the wonders, the mastery of the self, that is martial art. With bloodshed. And horses, lots of horses, and way too many guns. The BBFC in the uk has seen fit to remove scenes of the horses falling, in one scene if you look away for a tad too long you might wonder how the horserider ended up on the floor, and hey, where is his horse?

Aside from the taming down of possible animal misuse, which doesnt really harm the whole film but does seem obvious when it happens, the humans here are seeking peace and enlightenment or just going about their business, only to be brutally attacked & double-crossed at every turn. Much of it reminded me of The Godfather to begin with, then a number of chinese epics, some of the better kung-fu of late,and ultimately a more accessible religious flavour than Passion of the Christ which went into the land of gory horror.

The overall impact of a two hour film that is never dull & always interesting is becoming a rarity. It never really over plays its dramatic hand, if you don't mind soaring emotions of an asian suddenness. Action that plays with solid shaolin directness & the idiocy that is mankinds delight in war will show a contrast in the tranquility that is shattered. It probably won't compel many westerners to become a full-on buddhist after it is over, but it may make you very glad that there are some on the planet. Now if only we can concentrate on doing without those daft gun things...
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on 30 August 2014
Well I'm a kung fu fan - I've seen them all. One armed boxer, Snake in the Eagle's shadow, Druken Master and many more but wow this film is in a different league. Anything with Shaolin monks in is normally pretty good to be fair... but this film is ..... amazing. Yes it has sub titles - but that did not spoil the enjoyment. Guns vs kung fu I thought it was a no brainer but this film is realistic and moved me through many emotions. The kung fu in this film is great, moving and even the kids kung fu is ...... amazing. I like to think I'm a film buffin and the amount of film i've seen I'm not moved easily. Jackie chan is in this film - not a fan of all his films but he is really good in this film. Nice to see him back too his roots...and being less comical. Be patient as the story builds slowly ( takes about 15 minutes to get into) but plenty of action.

I've always thought kung fu films with guns in is a waste of time and thought that about this film in the first 15 minutes...and then it became clear to see this is a movie, directed by a genius. The acting is amazing and it is a movie I will buy on dvd to keep.

Ok enough about me rabbling on ...... be patient and focused when watching this movie and you will see what I saw... a five star movie that deserves your review.
P.S i'm a woman who grew up on kung fu as a kid (dad forced it on me as the whole family used to watch kung fu videos on a Friday night, so it grew on me) so don't let that phase you.... but after watching this film, you'll agree, I'm no ordinary woman to appreciate a film like this. I'm still rabbling...lol
Final words - JUST WATCH IT!
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is an excellent film. It is beautifully shot, the storyline is engrossing, the acting is excellent and the appearance of Jackie Chan provides some appropriate humour which does nto detract from the film. The fact that it is subtitled means that you get the 'gist' of how the film is moving along without the awful dubbing that you see with other films. The story is basically about one man's journey to 'find himself'. Having been a general in the Chinese army he is all for war and killing - including Shaolin monks. After the death of his daughter for which he blames himself, he asks to join the Shoalin Monks and becomes a very different type of man. For more of the sotry, watch the film. There are no boring bits and it is a really uplifting movie. Excellent and definitely on par with Mongol!
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on 30 June 2011
If there is anyone you can trust in directing entertaing action commercial films is in Benny Chan, here he weaves a basic story of a man on a road of redemption interspersed with fine action set pieces.

The film is very melodramatic with over stuffed emotions that work fine but is not very original in delivery. Music score hits all the right notes queing the audience with the right emotions. andy lau is always a competent actor but here flutuates between over acting to more composed frequently and the effect can be a bit jarring. fan bing bing has little to do in the film except for a flower vase role and nicholas tse over acts to the point of destroying the film. Tse grins and laughs menacingly and dons a beard to highlight his evil side but his villainous character lacks the logical motivations in his actions. jackie chan appears in an extended cameo that is very fun to watch but sometimes it feels like he is a different film from the seriousness of the film.

Those who have become dissappointed with Cory Yuen action choreography of the late can rest assured that here he returns to form with some finely staged fights, complimented by the able cast of martial artirts such as wu jing, real life shoalin monk xing yu, jackie chan and xiong xin xin (aka Hung yan yan of Once upon a time in china fame). Stars such as andy lau and nicholas tse also do admirably in the fight department. Wire work is obviously used but sparingly usually to enhance a move or exaggerate power. Fights do occur frequently through out the film but there is a major problem being that fights end pretty quick. The end show down is also a bit of a dissapointment especially the fight between xiong xin xin and xing yu.

Those approaching this for original story telling will be dissapointed, the story is as generic as it gets, but with competent action scenes and an incredible cast the film is very enjoyable.
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on 27 August 2014
Good grief, I didn't expect this film to be as good as it was. I really didn't. I was laughing, I was crying, and I was amazed. My one complaint is the amount of flooded lungs - everyone seems to be dribbling blood even when they were injured nowhere near their chests - but that really was my only complaint.
The martial arts are amazing, the story is brilliant, and the setting is beautiful. Lots of martial arts masters involved in the casting which made the movements more authentic, and more impressive - though a few have clearly been aided by special effects, because people can't really fly like that.
Nowhere near as cheesy or overdone as a lot of martial arts movies I've seen, highly recommended!
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on 24 February 2016
Was hoping for more, but I found it just okay. It felt as if the story was trying to imitate Jet Li's "fearless" story. As great as an actor Andy Lau is, I was just not convinced with his spiritual, enlightenment conversion. Not impressed, but not disappointed either.
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on 31 October 2011
What a fabulous film! Moving, suspenseful, fast moving, marvellously filmed and edited and full of rip roaring action. After watching this late into the night, I wondered why we in the west can't make films of such stature. Hollywood has lost the plot and all the British Film "Industry" seems to churn out are sleazy efforts about local pond life.

The acting here is top notch, the action scenes fantastic and the story one of carefully plotted twists and turns, with a vein of nobility running through it that makes other films of the genre pale into insignificance.

If you haven't seen it, do so and if you haven't bought it yet, BUY IT NOW!

Pity I can't give 10 stars.
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on 10 October 2015
Superb martial arts movie. Beautifully shot, top notch acting & some of the best set pieces I've seen. Only bad point is that the sound at some points the sound started to go a bit start stop?? Maybe just my copy? Didn't take anything away from the movie though.
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