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- The Shaolin Temple
- 95 min.
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The Shaolin Temple was Jet Li's first film - he's not even credited as Jet Li - taking a wushu champion and turning him into a star overnight, as he took on the role of a fresh-faced Shaolin monk, which would be cemented as his early career persona. The story is fairly simple, and in many ways is a retelling of 36th Chamber of Shaolin's, with a young turk learning the ways of Shaolin to take revenge on an oppressive warlord and ending up involving the Temple in politics and justice. There's less focus on training and Jet isn't the only monk catered to; we get to know several others enough to recognize them in battle and make their ups and downs matter. Speaking of battle, there is a LOT of action in this thing, almost non-stop in the third act, and it is excellent. Mainland locations give the film more production value than the Shaw Bros. stuff over in Hong Kong in the early 80s when this was made. Caveat: Though faked, the violence done towards animals in this film is, by modern Western standards, pretty shocking, though that peters out after the first act.
This movie is the living hell for editors of doesthedogdie.com.
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