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少林小子 (1984)
Kids from Shaolin

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 02/18/2010

Though prone to the occasional violent outburst "Kids from Shaolin" is the kinder, gentler mid-section to Jet Li's "Shaolin" trilogy featuring a cast of predominately pint-sized players in this Chinese funded Hatfield & McCoy wu shu comedy.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 08/25/2007
Summary: Great wushu, lacking elsewhere

Kids from Shaolin is Jet Li’s follow up to his debut in Shaolin Temple and shares many of the same actors, but has a completely unrelated set of characters and story. Two families, the first practitioners of the Wu Tang sword style and full of daughters and the other, disciples of Shaolin Kung Fu and full of boys, are separated by a river in the open countryside. Although they are amiable towards each other, there is a certain level of rivalry between the two, especially with two daughters (Ding Laam and Wong Chau-Yin) and the oldest son (Jet Li). The Shaolin family, led by Yue Hoi, is also trying to build their means enough to provide a cow to the Wu Tang family (led by Yue Sing-Wai) in exchange for the permission of an uncle to marry one of the oldest daughters. When a group of bandits that destroyed the families’ original town find out the Shaolin men survived, they decide to exploit the family rivalry to their own ends.
As mentioned in previous reviews, Kids from Shaolin plays like a Disney movie for the majority of its length, with over-the-top displays of filial piety and love. There are numerous practical jokes played and lame attempts at cute humor. However, mixed into this saccharin mess are truly fantastic demonstrations of wushu styles by some of the top athletes of that time. As with most mainland kung fu productions, expert martial artists and wushu champions were chosen to portray the main characters. This provided excellent kung fu, but usually poor acting, scripts and plots. Kids from Shaolin is no exception. The film meanders along until the finale in which a furious and expertly-choreographed battle with the bandits ensues. It is violent, exciting, and a fight scene to hold others in comparison to. Kids from Shaolin can be recommended, but only slightly, and solely on the basis of the wushu displayed and the climatic fight.


Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/17/2005

This movie has the feel of a 1950's Disney film, from the light-hearted atmosphere to the sudden breaks into cheerful tunes to the beautiful landscapes. The plot also has that "warm and fuzzy" feel to it. Jet Li is the elder child of one family and Ding Laam the elder of another. The two families have been feuding with each other for years, but the realization by Jet that his pops needs to get hitched -- and quick -- makes him want to bury the hatchet. However, a local governor wants both families' land, so he keeps tricking them into fighting each other. Eventually, as you might guess, the two families team up (and wouldn't you know it? There's a perfect match for every person in both families once they come together) to protect their land.

Overall, this movie was too slow-moving and much, much too happy for me to really enjoy it. I swear if I was diabetic, I would have gone into sugar shock about halfway through it. The only part I really liked was the ending fight, which is pretty good stuff, though the spurting blood may turn off those who were looking for more of a family-friendly picture. Kids from Shaolin is worth a look, especially if you are interested in getting a look at a very young Jet Li in action, but don't expect anything on the level of his later work like Fist of Legend or Once Upon a Time in China.

[review from]

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 02/23/2003
Summary: Entertaining

This sequel to Jet Li's debute features a good load of Mainland trademarks. Witness beautiful landscape, traditional Chinese singing, lame humor, distinguished martial arts action, and kids singing "Jingle All the Way." It's a classic.

The Wu Tang sword style is demonstrated by a bunch of people (how authentically? I don't know), and it is obvious that people are exhibiting rather than fighting to death (a la Crippled Avengers). In addition, the action is VERY different from HK choreography. Do I like the difference? Heck ya.


Reviewed by: Wu'xiaBadger
Date: 02/03/2003
Summary: Early example of Jet Li's cross-dressing

Years before "Dr. Wai", Li tarted himself up as a lady for a scene in this classic. Not nearly as brutal as "Shaolin Temple", this movie is almost as good. It is a very light-hearted Kung-fu comedy, something as entertaining to kids as it is to adults. The scenery is gorgeous, the fight scenes well-choreographed, and most surprisingly, the kids are all good actors. Simple plot sets the stage for a display of styles in this fun movie ideal for anyone. Its strengths are also its weaknesses; the plot is almost too thin, and the fights seem a little more staged than in other flicks. Still, a safe introduction to the genre for youngsters and the uninitiated alike. 7/10

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 07/23/2000
Summary: A fu family film !

... in every sense. Unlike many chop sockeys, this one isn't very violent, and is suitable for the whole family. Also, it concerns the rivalry between two neighbouring families. One has all sons, the other all daughters. One family is headed by a widower. Sounds like a wild version of the Brady Bunch ? Or Seven Brides for Seven Brothers ? Well, I'm sure the producers has at least seen these earlier stories. But this flick is pretty much an original.
It even features Jet Li singing, and dressed in drag.
All in all, great family fun, plenty of action and antics but, of course, not a lot of sense. Recommended.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: hokazak
Date: 12/09/1999

A river separates two "families" / clans / schools - the Shaolin boys and the Wu Tang girls. There are mutual suspicions, rivalries, and a star-crossed romance. Lots of good natured sparring, too. Jet Li is the 2nd oldest Shaolin boy, besides the "old master" himself.

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Jet Li's amazing sequel to Shaolin Temple has loads of no-wireskung fu performed by kids and adults! Jet Li is the (adopted?) son of a Shaolin monk who fled the temple after the bad guys burned it, along with his sons. Their family has a rivalry with the family on the other side of the river, who have only daughters and study Wu Tang kung fu... (more info when I get it translated)

[Reviewed by Anonymous]