Disciples of Shaolin Temple (1985)

Reviewed by Ken Hashibe
July 9, 2014

 

MOVIE INFO
CAST
Faan Dung-Yue • He Qing • Chiu Liu-Liu • Wang Chi • Sek Kong
Aka
Disciples of Shaolin
DIRECTOR
Hua Shan
CHOREOGRAPHER(S)
Wang Chi • Ng Git-Keung
YEAR RELEASED
1985
MOVIE SOURCE
Version reviewed was in widescreen format. Cantonese language with English subtitles.
Purchase & Info
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PlOT
To evade an arranged marriage, a young man (Faan Dung-Yue) becomes a monk at the Shaolin temple. While there, he befriends the other monks whom he goes on various misadventures with, including trying to not run into the man’s fiancé. Eventually, they end up trying to fight off against an evil swordsman who has a grievance towards the abbot.
thoughts on the movie

With incredible fight scenes, noticeably high production values, a unique atmosphere, and a great soundtrack, it’s hard to find faults in this impressive film. That isn’t to say that there aren’t any faults; The comedy may fall flat and some scenes are uneventful, but these flaws are forgiven thanks to its abundance of benefits. What I’m trying to say is I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. The story moves along nicely and the characters are fairly enjoyable as well. Yeah, it’s not perfect, but it’s not bad. Heck, it’s actually pretty good.

was it funny?
Not necessarily. There are a few attempts at comedy that don’t impress, but the fiancé of the young man is amusing. The slapstick also isn’t bad. There are actually a few scenes that are a bit more serious and intense, especially towards the end. There’s comedy, but only an amount that may amuse those who are accustomed to the humor in most other kung fu comedies.
How was the Action?

The fight scenes choreographed by Wang Chi and Shaw Brothers extra, Ng Git-Keung, are all fantastic with fast, smooth movements. There’s a wide variety of weapons used including tri-folds, swords, and poles that make these scenes all the more spectacular. There’s also some training scenes and even some fascinating “fight scene analysis.”

Standout performance(s)

Faan Dung-Yue is fantastic in the fight scenes, but the strong-willed fiancé, Chiu Liu-Liu practically steals the show whenever she’s on screen. Her character is entertaining and excellent in the fight scenes.

Watch or Pass
6 Reasons Why You Should WATCH or PASS On This Movie
1. WATCH for the spectacular fight scenes.
2. PASS if you like nonstop action.
3. WATCH because the fiancé, Chiu Liu-Liu, is fantastic.
4. PASS because the story and some of the characters are a bit archetypal.
5. WATCH if you love Shaolin.
6. PASS if you don’t like Shaolin (and I would assume that’s none of you, go watch it).
FINAL NOTES

You can buy this movie on YesAsia.com for about $11 and if you live in the U.S, you can watch this movie on Hulu for free (mind the ads).

RATING