I must admit I get nervous these days when a movie packs in a lot of top stars. Good thing my fears were not met as Shaolin (also known as The New Shaolin Temple) was very enjoyable to watch. Set during the early Republican China (around 1912-1920) Hou Jie is a ruthless warlord who has the treasure map to ‘Hou’s Horde’ fighting with his rival Huo Long. When victory is his greed and betrayal hits his ranks and he must flee to Shaolin to save his own life.
The costumes in Shaolin are spectacular! I really enjoyed the level of detail that went into this movie. The sets and locations are also of top production value. It’s no wonder it held number one during it’s opening week! It was nominated for four awards during the 33rd Hong Kong Film Awards. I also enjoyed the acting in the film, the sense of loss, regret, redemption, anger, and peace. The actors of the film did a wonderful job! It is well worth watching.
Nicholas Tse (A Man Called Hero, Bodyguards and Assassins, The Proud Twins) as Cao Man, Hou Jie’s second-in-command
Jackie Chan (Shaolin Wooden Men, Half a Loaf of Kung Fu, Little Big Soldier) as Wudao, the Shaolin cook monk
Wu Jing (Tai Chi Boxer, The Legend of Zu, A Chinese Ghost Story Tv Series) as Jingneng, Hou Jie’s oldest senior
Michelle Bai (Beginning of the Great Revival, The Myth TV Series, Heroes in Sui and Tang Dynasties TV Series) as Tian’er, a singer
Yu Shaoqun (A Chinese Ghost Story 2011, Beginning of the Great Revival) as Jinghai, Hou Jie’s third senior and a friend of Jingkong
Shimada Runa as Hou Shengnan, Hou Jie’s daughter
Shi Xiaohong (Red Cliff) as Song Hu, Hou Jie’s sworn brother
Hung Yan-yan (Martial Arts of Shaolin, Once Upon a Time in China, Ip Man: The Final Fight) as Suoxiangtu, a martial arts expert working for Cao Man
Liang Jingke (The Myth, Little Big Soldier) as Song Hu’s wife
Love HK Films Review
Trivia: The theme song, “Wu” (悟; roughly translates to “awaken” or “enlighten”), was composed by the Chinese composer Zhao Qin, with Andy Lau performing the song and providing the lyrics.