Martial Arts of Shaolin (1986)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2001-10-18
Summary: Hear hear
I second everything in the above review. Jet Li had a lot more money to play with this time around. The reported $10m budget is clearly on display, the money sometimes dripping off the screen. The locations are a feast for the eye, especially the tree-covered mountains next to the river. And once-only actress Wong Chau Yin is quite an eyeful as well.

But the martial arts is so plentiful and of such high quality that you could almost miss the scenery. The skills and the scope of the choreography is staggering. And, very unusually for an epic marital arts film, all the bit player fighters are credited at the end - something like a hundred names, complete (I think) with their styles. There are also 12 support actors listed, which I have yet to transcribe.

The main actors are credited on screen (Chinese only, of course).

True, the story couldn't be more basic. He Sao is a cardboard cut-out villain who "killed many people", and doesn't really stand up to close scrutiny as such. He tries to look menacing....

But that's splitting hairs. Don't miss this one. Slam bang action almost all the way, and terrifically entertaining.

And, last but not least, Jet Li flashes his winning smile quite often here, something he frequently neglected in many of his later films.

Reviewer Score: 9