Shaolin Kung Fu (1974)

  |  Action, Adventure

Shaolin Kung Fu (1974) Poster

All is well until the dastardly Tongyang brings his rickshaws into town and starts using his hired muscle to dominate the clientele.


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22 August 2015 | ckormos1
| Another hero who must never fight
There are four plots for every kung fu movie ever made. 1: The fighter who must not fight ("I promised my mother never to fight again.") 2: revenge ("You killed my master.") 3: Finding the right master or style and 4: The tournament plot. Oddly, Bruce Lee made only four movies – one of each plot. I find "the fighter who must not fight" the most annoying plot. First, the story usually starts with beatings instead of fights because our hero can't fight back. Personally, I find no entertainment value in watching beatings. At least in this movie some other people fight back and there are some real fights. The story continues that from not fighting back the hero suffers some injuries and he is falsely accused of fighting. He never simply replies that his injuries are proof he did not fight. Furthermore, if he simply blocked or evaded the attacker that is not fighting plus he would not have been beaten. Next the bad guys are emboldened and now innocent people are injured, raped, or killed. Somehow these crimes are never investigated and instead our hero seems to be in even more trouble. Or worse, our hero does fight back and injures the bad guys and now he is in serious trouble for injuring them but the bad guys were never in trouble when they previously injured him. Finally the hero is forced to fight back and kills all the bad guys but the victory is shallow because of all the preceding collateral damage. There are only seven to twelve plots for every story ever told: adventure, quest, coming of age, revenge, transformation, riddle, love, rebirth, sacrifice and such. The hero who will not fight is not a plot anywhere except in Chinese culture. (The love story in Chinese culture is also a different plot in that it is all about fate.) I think the hero who will not fight is actually another plot but they never got it right. Anyway, back to this movie. There is also a subplot involving revenge that is serious enough to supercede everything else but it is just a flashback. The hero, Wen Chiang-Long made about 54 martial arts movies from 1970 to 1980. they are all pretty good movies for the date and genre and this one is no exception. The fights are good and plenty yet do not become monotonous. I never once reached for the fast forward button. I'd rate it slightly above average 6.5 out of ten.

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Action | Adventure


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