Shaolin Vs. Lama

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (160 votes, average: 4.11 out of 5)
Posted On: May 25, 2009
Posted In: Action Movies, All Movies, Kung Fu Fighting, Kung Fu Movie Reviews, Kung Fu Movies, Martial Arts Movies, Shaolin Kung Fu
Comments: 7 Responses

Shaolin vs Lama is a highly regarded old school Kung Fu Movies with iconic dialogue sampled by musicians such as Depth Charge and Wu Tang Clan. It features use of the Buddha finger and a training technique where our hero punches circular holes in scrolls hanging from the ceiling with just one knuckle.

The plot revolves around a talented kung fu practitioner who is looking for someone better than him; this gives rise to some fights early on as he beats up a teacher who is scamming folk with the old wizened Zen Monk routine.

Our hero has never heard of the regions most famous Shaolin temple, when he meets a mischievous young monk who tries to help him get tuition from the master, (an incorrigible abbot who loves to drink, eat and fight).

Cue lots of slapstick as the lazy abbot swoops down from treetops to fight our hero while eating a chicken, and using his horrible ‘bad foot’ technique. Things get more serious when it is revealed that a Tibetan lama infiltrated the Shaolin temple and stole their kung fu manual, and is now trying to destroy the Shaolin (although quite why, is never explained, especially as both are Buddhist).

Our hero eventually becomes a monk and swears to avenge the death of some girl or other he meets, as well as avenging the murder of the crazy abbot. But, of course, he will never truly be able to beat the villain until he learns the “Buddha finger’ technique.Our hero finally defeats the villain, who, in one of the more memorable conclusions to kung fu cinema, bashes in his own head while shouting “I…am… the devil! I must die… to prove that Buddha exists…” I don’t really understand the meaning behind this, but our hero learns that, in the end, mercy is better than revenge.

“I’ve learned to show mercy to the end…even the wicked man…we don’t kill him; that is our rule.”

And that’s a nice little bit of character progression, driven by Buddhism. The action scenes are awesome and overall this movie is a gem. Plus it’s got that whole Wu Tang- Depth Charge thing going for it. Thomas DiSanto