Shaolin (film)

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Shaolin
Shaolin-poster.jpg
Hong Kong film poster
Traditional 新少林寺
Simplified 新少林寺
Mandarin Xīn Shàolín Sì
Cantonese San1 Siu3Lam4 Zi2
Directed by Benny Chan
Produced by Benny Chan
Written by Alan Yuen
Starring Andy Lau
Nicholas Tse
Jackie Chan
Fan Bingbing
Wu Jing
Music by Nicolas Errèra
(additional music : Anthony Chue)
Cinematography Anthony Pun
Edited by Yau Chi-wai
Production
company
Emperor Motion Pictures
China Film Group
Huayi Brothers Media Corporation
Beijing Silver Moon Productions Ltd.
China Songshan Shaolin Temple Culture Communication Center
Distributed by Emperor Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • 19 January 2011 (2011-01-19) (China)
  • 27 January 2011 (2011-01-27) (Hong Kong)[1]
Running time 131 minutes
Country China[2]
Hong Kong
Language Mandarin[2]
Cantonese[1]
Box office US$33,470,508 (China)[3]
US$2,632,485 (Hong Kong)[4]

Shaolin (released in the Hong Kong as The New Shaolin Temple) is a 2011 Chinese-Hong Kong[5] martial arts film produced and directed by Benny Chan, and starring Andy Lau and Nicholas Tse with a special appearance by Jackie Chan.

Plot[edit]

The film is set in Dengfeng, Henan, during the warlord era of early Republican China. A warlord named Hou Jie defeats a rival, Huo Long, and seizes control of Dengfeng. Huo Long flees to Shaolin Temple to hide but Hou Jie appears and shoots him after getting his treasure map. Hou Jie ridicules the Shaolin monks before leaving.

Feeling that his sworn brother, Song Hu, is taking advantage of him, Hou sets a trap for Song in a restaurant, under the guise of agreeing to his daughter's engagement to Song's son. Meanwhile, Hou's deputy, Cao Man, feeling that he was being used by Hou, decides to betray him. During the dinner, Song shows his intention to retire and cedes everything to Hou but is informed that Hou intends to kill him. Out of rage and embarrassment, Hou fatally wounds Song. Both families are then attacked by Cao's assassins. Despite being shot by Hou, Song saves Hou to allow him to escape and he dies subsequently. While fleeing, Hou's wife and daughter are separated. Hou's wife is rescued by some passing-by Shaolin monks, who were stealing rice from the military granary to help the refugees living near the temple. Hou manages to escape with his daughter, but his daughter is severely injured when she is knocked down by the assassins' horse carriage. After a chase by the assassins on horse carriages, Hou and his daughter fall off a cliff. In desperation, Hou brings his daughter to Shaolin, begging the monks to save her life, but it is too late and she dies of her injuries. Hou's wife blames him for the death of their daughter and leaves him. Hou attacks the monks in anger but is quickly subdued.

Hou becomes disillusioned and wanders near Shaolin, until he meets the cook monk Wudao, who provides him food and shelter. Hou feels guilty for his past misdeeds and decides to become a monk and atone for his sins. During his stay in Shaolin, Hou gradually understands Shaolin's principles through study and practising martial arts, mends his ways and finds peace and enlightenment from his heart. From the refugees, Hou discovers Cao had recruited male refugees to build a railway, which he objected when he was still a warlord, and they have yet to return after several days. Hou discovers that Cao has been unearthing Chinese relics on pretext of building a railway and having the refugees massacred afterwards to silence them.

After Cao is informed that Hou is still alive, he leads his soldiers to Shaolin temple to capture Hou. Hou volunteers to go with Cao to distract him while the monks break into Cao's house to save the imprisoned labourers. Hou is reunited with his wife and escapes with her when his plan to rescue the labourers succeeds. Hou's senior, Jingneng, is brutally killed by Cao while covering for his juniors to escape. Upon returning to Shaolin Temple, the monks decide that they need to evacuate the temple to avoid further trouble. Wudao leads the refugees away while Hou and the other monks remain behind to defend the temple and buy time. Cao arrives with his troops and attack Shaolin. At the same time, the foreigners feel that they have been cheated and decide to silence Cao and Shaolin. They bombard Shaolin with artillery, resulting in heavy casualties for both the Shaolin monks and Cao's forces. Hou defeats Cao in a fight and eventually sacrifices himself to save Cao from being crushed by a falling beam and falls into the Buddha statue's palm and dies peacefully, leaving Cao feeling guilty. The surviving monks succeed in overcoming the foreigners and stopping the bombardment. Meanwhile, the refugees, fleeing on a mountainside, begin crying as they gaze upon the Shaolin temple in ruins. Wudao tells them that the Shaolin spirit will continue to live in them even though the temple has been destroyed.

Before the evacuation of Shaolin Temple, Hou meets his wife for the last time. Repenting for his past mistakes, Hou passes the urn containing his daughter's cremated ashes to his wife. Hou's wife forgives Hou for his past, and accepts the fact that she can no longer be with him even though she prefer the present Hou compared to the past. Hou refuses to leave Shaolin and stays behind to defend Shaolin and the refugees' escape. In an admission that Cao's present evil doings stems from his own past misdeeds, Hou states that it is his responsibility in guiding Cao back to the correct path.

Cast[edit]

  • Andy Lau as Hou Jie, a warlord
  • Nicholas Tse as Cao Man, Hou Jie's second-in-command
  • Jackie Chan as Wudao, the Shaolin cook monk
  • Fan Bingbing as Yan Xi, Hou Jie's wife
  • Wu Jing as Jingneng, Hou Jie's oldest senior
  • Xing Yu as Jingkong, Hou Jie's second senior
  • Yu Hai as the Shaolin abbot
  • Yu Shaoqun as Jinghai, Hou Jie's third senior and a friend of Jingkong
  • Xiaoliuna as Shengnan, Hou Jie's daughter
  • Shi Xiaohong as Song Hu, Hou Jie's sworn brother
  • Xiong Xinxin as Suoxiangtu, a martial arts expert working for Cao Man
  • Chen Zhihui as Huo Long, a rival warlord
  • Liang Jingke as Song Hu's wife

Theme song[edit]

The theme song, "Wu" (悟; roughly translates to "awaken" or "enlighten"), was composed by the Chinese composer Zhao Qin, with Andy Lau performing the song and providing the lyrics.[6]

Production[edit]

Filming started in October 2009 with a ceremony held in Shaolin Monastery.[7] News first spread of the project when the film's co-star Jackie Chan announced on his official website that he was involved with the project but was not able to talk about it due to contract restrictions.[8]

Chan and his crew built their own "Shaolin Temple" in Zhejiang that cost 10 million yuan (US$1.47 million) to avoid damaging the actual temple.[9] The cast members shaved their heads bald for filming, whereas Chan, who wore a hat, shaved around his head where his hair was sticking out.[10]

Andy Lau's left hand was injured while he was filming a fight scene.[11]

Release[edit]

Shaolin was originally slated for a late 2010 release.[12] The film was released in China on 19 January 2011 and in Hong Kong on 27 January 2011.[13] Shaolin premiered as number one in the Hong Kong box office, grossing $592,046 during its first week.[14] The film also premiered at number one in the Thai and Singaporean box offices during opening week.[15][16] The film also went on to break the box office record in Malaysia.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Shaolin holds a 74% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 27 reviews.[17]

Awards and nominations[edit]

31st Hong Kong Film Awards[edit]

  • Nominated: Best Supporting Actor (Nicholas Tse)
  • Nominated: Best Art Direction (Yee Chung Man, Ben Lau)
  • Nominated: Best Original Song (Andy Lau (Lyrics), Nicolas Errèra(Composer))
  • Nominated: Best Action Choreography (Corey Yuen, Yuen Tak, Li Chung Chi)[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]