Five Fighters from Shaolin (1984)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2010-07-20
Summary: 1/2 terrible, 1/2 excellent...
Five Fighters from Shaolin is one of those strange kung fu films that is almost schizophrenic in nature. It starts off as a typical bad martial arts comedy... terrible jokes, annoying characters and ridiculous situations. The first 45 minutes are pretty much horrendous with nothing to recommend. Suddenly though, the mood starts to take a shift and the action really starts. The training that was once boring becomes quite intense and we see a great variety of weapons and styles. Chiang Sheng is excellent, Chen Shan’s kung fu is fast and powerful and there is a former gymnast (Yau Ming-Yin) that does an admirable job with some tough stunts. Mark Long is good, but unfortunately plays a character that you don’t want to see that much on screen due to his bad comedy factor. When Alan Chui and Jack Long show up, the film has shifted 180 degrees and becomes chock full of bloody fights, people being impaled, exploding heads and severed limbs. The finale is really excellent, although a bit under-cranked. There is a fair amount of wire-work, but it doesn’t detract that much from the action. Now if they had only made the entire film that way, it would have been an absolute classic.

Reviewer Score: 6