Monday, February 14, 2011

Shaolin 2011 Movie !~! 9/10*

Watched Shaolin and I absolutely love it - for its prominent themes that I always like - family ties that never breaks, jealousy that causes hatred, believing in yourself is important, and pride always comes before a fall etc etc.

This movie is set during the Warlord era where everyone is fighting to gain power and land. The movie starts out with the scene at the Shaolin temple where Andy Lau ( role: Hao Jie) kills his troopman despite the latter pleading for his life and agreeing to give up all his riches to the former.

It then continues on to the street scene where 2 powerful warlords, Hao Jie and Song Hu (Shi Xiong Hong)pretenciously gives greetings to each other.

The scene then proceeds to where we see Hao Jie though merciless in his conquer of land, understands that foreigners are not to be trusted and to never put the Chinese land into their hands. This idea, which is challenged by his right hand man, Cao Man (Nicolas Tse)and where Hao Jie threatens that whoever goes against him, will not live.

This goes the same for the warlord Song Hu. Hao Jie plans for the killing of Song Hu.

(I love this part because its so intense and I thought the part would come where Song Hu kills Hao Jie insteads) Alas, Alas, it was not to be. Instead, it was his ambitious right hand man Cao Man who takes advantage of the situation.

Using the blind hate of both men, Cao Man entraps both of them - eventually killing Song Hu and his family, Hao Jie's precious daughter. His distraught wife (Fan Bing Bing) abandons him.

Ultimately Hao seeks refuge at the Shaolin temple ( the one which appeared in the first scene) and though reluctant at first to help a man whose villainy they have witnessed first hand, the monks welcome him in. Hao disguises himself as a monk and slowly but surely the innate goodness of the monks ( as well as the chef monk - jackie Chan) help repair his shattered soul. With the new perspective to life, Hao lives life with gratitude.

However with the ever vicious and ambitious Cao Man on the throne, something must happpen. And indeed, the community begin to question how come their husbands, brothers etc are not coming back and no one knows about their whereabouts after they were sent to work on the land (which the foreigners bought from Cao Man) for the exchange of guns. Hao Jie finds out that Cao Man is working with the foreigners and killing many innocent people - and he vows to rescue them - by giving himself up to Cao Man - stalling time and attention to himself, and away from the rescue that is suppose to happen.

Like all usual hated characters, they always bring out the love ones of the victims to tortue them. And yes , Hao Jie's wife was brought out and tortured with him looking on but not being able to do anything.

And like all hated scene, some good guys have to die. While rescueing the villagers, the senior monk sacrifices himself - despite being shot numerous times and stabbed, He holds on towards the door latch, preventing the enemy from chasing up with his people - towards the end. - (Everytime I remember that scene, I feel like crying)

As the villagers return to the Shaolin temple, the main monk tells them that all have to move as Cao Man will definately come and claim his winning title - by killing them all. As we see the good people die, my heart sank each time - and at each instance the good people die, its all because they sacrifice themselves for another.

And the final scene, ends with Cao Man fighting with Hao Jie but Hao Jie, not returning back the punches and hits.Hao Jie feels responsible for what Cao Man has become and keeps telling him to turn back before its too late.

At that moment of time, the scene shifts to the foreigner who is staying outside of the temple saying that no one should be kept alive, this shameful defeat should be silenced where he bombs the Shaolin temple - regardless of the people inside. With this bombing and pillars falling, Hao Jie pushes Cao Man away and takes the brunt of the fallen pillar. Cao Man finally realises what he has done but it was all too late. Hao Jie, with the bombing, falls off the edge, and guess what - haha- into the hands of the 'deity' ( I kinda laughed at that scene because it was predictable.)

All in all, I would rate this show a 9/10 because I love how the themes were portrayed and such amazing actors and actresses. Nice!
Ps: I wonder how come jackie chan played such a small role in the movie. It was quite a waste of his talent.

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