Trailer: Shaolin


China may be under the governance of Hollywood-fearing Commies and their propagandist movie industry, but Hong Kong is fortunately still just independent enough to pull off some cracking productions of their own. Anyone who is a fan of ’70s Shaw Brothers kung-fu movies – and if that’s not you, check out 36 Chambers Of Shaolin, Five Fingers Of Death and Five Deadly Venoms before reading any further – should find much that is enticingly familiar in the trailer for the concisely named Shaolin, which stars Andy Lau (the Hong Kong megastar from Infernal Affairs and House Of Flying Daggers) as a fallen warlord forced to seek refuge and learn kung-fu at a Buddhist temple, and Jackie Chan as his friend and the temple’s cook.

For sure, it’s one of those age-old stories which the Asian movie industry knows will be popular with Western audiences (see also, from Japan: a small group of samurai battle an army which vastly outnumbers them) but it’s one which works, and the visuals are as exquisite as has come to be expected: it’s all snowy temples, monks hopping down stairs on their hands, fistfights and explosions, which is surely a recipe for success. 36 Chambers of Shaolin (or Shaolin Master Killer, as it is also known) is possibly the greatest martial arts movie ever made and Shaolin‘s trailer reminds me of it both in title and content, which should be enough to have any fan clearing their diary when it hits the US on September 9th.