The New Legend of Shaolin (1994)
Reviewed by: Trigger on 2002-01-09
Summary: This movie Fucking Ownz
(please watch the language in your review)

This film is the fuckin shiznit. I hadn't seen it before and it's newly released on DVD by Universe. It's one of Jet Li's older films from the tail end of his days of doing period films. It came out in 94. It has been on DVD previously - There's a Tai Seng version and a China Star version which many people have had trouble with on first generation players. This new Universe edition is great. Great transfer and nice sound and easy to read subtitles.

The movie itself is fantastic. I feel stupid for not having seen it sooner. It is a period film about Jet Li's clan being wiped out and so he goes off seeking revenge while at the same time being a fugitive on the run. He brings his son along with him who grows up to be a tough and emotionless little boy who is a kung-fu master like his father. The action is really tight and Jet Li uses a telescoping spear in this one. There is a ton of action in this film. Also - for being a fairly heavy film in the beginning and also in a few places throughout (yeah - I even cried at a part), this film has alot of humor in it. The comedy in this film isn't like a Stephen Chow or some Wong Jing silly parody - the humor is very dry wit. This film also kinda pokes fun at Jet Li's previous movies, but it's a little more subtle than say a Wong Jing film or like Last Hero In China (which I liked as well). I'd say this one ranks among his best along with Fong Sai Yuk, Swordsman 2, Tai Chi Master and Kung Fu Cult Master. It has some of the child kung-fu stuff like you saw in My Father Is a Hero. It's good fun.

The plot did seem to kinda trail off in weird directions, but at the same time it seemed like there was still some cohesion to it all. It was as if they had this script that they were following and every once in awhile they would lose it and a different writer would have to rewrite what was going on from memory and the story changed a little. It wasn't like a film that was shot without a script though. Hard to put into words. Also - some of the effects were somewhat cheesey - like when they throw a child or a body around you can sometimes tell that it's a dummy.

Despite the few shortcomings, it's a wonderful flick and I'm happy to add it to my collection. I give it a 8.5/10
Reviewer Score: 8