Reviewed by: MrBooth
Summary: 8/10 - one of the better Shaolin films
The third entry in Chang Cheh's 'Shaolin Cycle' is set some time after the burning of the temple, with descendants of the Shaolin style still being persecuted by the nasty Manchurians. Kong Do sets up a Manchu kung fu school with the 'secret' mission being to wipe out the students at the Han school... the only problem being, he's no match for them... until the general sends Fung Hak On, Leung Kar Yan and Wang Lung Wei to help.
Reviewer Score: 8
The film follows the basic Shaolin formula of fight/lose/train/fight/win, with some minor twists and spurious romance (which does nothing to dispel the notion that Chang Cheh neither understood women nor wanted much to do with them). It's not deep, it's not subtle, but it is filled with some of the most talented martial artists in the Shaw Brothers stable at the time. It's a homage to what dedicated training can do to the human body, and the righteousness of a patriotic hero.
As usual, Lau Kar Leung and Tang Chia provide the choreography, with the attention to detail in the kung fu styles that implies. The cast have the skills to perform the moves without any wires or camera tricks, so that's basically what they do.
If you're well disposed to this style of film, Shaolin Martial Arts is one of the better ones, certainly out of Chang Cheh's filmography. Production values are pretty high, the story is untroublesome, and the kung fu is damn good. The particular highlight for me was Leung Kar-Yan being an ultra-bad ass in his second movie role!
Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Summary: Better than i expected
When i was younger, i didn't mind kung fu movies which had the main character training to beat the bad guy at the end. At my current age, even movies like 36th chamber of shaolin i dont enjoy, but i am not sure why i liked this movie then. WAs it because they finally found a way to defeat the bad guy? Was it the various SB stars that was in this movie? i am not sure but i did enjoy this though there is no plot apart from REVENGE!!
Reviewer Score: 7
Reviewed by: hkcinema
A classic Chang Cheh offering. This film is truly "hardcore". The detail in the fighting arts and, more notably, the rituals is amazing. The film is about the arts themselves and is totally unafraid of discarding all other ideas (ie the western notion of narrative). The opening sequence clearly defines what the film is about. We see the actors of the film out of character demonstrating their stlye from the film. This may, or may not, have been the inspiration for the opening of Liu chia Liangs "dirty ho". The cast are amazing, i'll risk saying that any film with both Fu Sheng and Liu Chia Hui in it has got to be a classic. Wang Lung Wei is excellent as one of the Manchu steel skin men and the styles have never been better demonstrated. This film also spawned one of my top 5 dubbing quotes - "Those shaolin students ... they're just another bunch of rebels". Thoroughly watchable but maybe not if you're new to Shaw films.
[Reviewed by Andrew Best]