Shaolin: Andy Lau Teams up with Wu Jing, Xing Yu and Yu Shao Qun Against Nicholas Tse and Xiong Xin Xin
Over 10 million yuan and around 4 months were spent on building the 1:1 replica of Shaolin Temple in Yanshi, Yongkang. Some areas or props were actually built larger for ease of filming or to impart a more numinous feel, such as the giant Buddha statue.
But why not shoot on the actual locale? Director Benny Chan explains, "There are many tourists going to Shaolin Temple, and they could not cordon off the area specifically for us. And we have quite a number of action scenes, which might endanger the surroundings. Moreover, some parts in today's Shaolin Temple, having a more modernised look, are quite different from retro feel we are after."
Director Benny Chan says that Andy Lau and Jackie Chan stand out the most in terms of their performances. He also casts his vote on Wu Jing for the martial arts scenes, "The action scenes are more evenly distributed, everyone gets similar amount of action scenes, but in reality, Wu Jing is better at fighting."
Jackie Chan gets more than what he bargains for
While Andy Lau says that Jackie Chan's martial arts skills are too great, he dares not learn from him. Jackie Chan says, "In the film, my two seniors Corey Yuen and Yuen Tak are the martial arts directors, it's not my turn to teach him. Andy Lau has been in the field for many years, why would he need to learn from me. Besides, he picks up anything he learns very quickly."
Jackie Chan is making a special appearance as a Shaolin chef, one who looks rather scruffy and casual and is not aware of his own abilities in kungfu. But actually, he has inadvertently devised a superior skill through cooking, from making mantou and noodle, and is responsible for giving Andy Lau pointers.
Jackie Chan accepted the role due to his promise to producer Albert Yeung as well as his anticipation to play opposite Andy Lau again. Jackie Chan was invited for a major role initially, but due to schedule conflicts with his other project Chinese Zodiac, he could not spare too much time on this film, and picks a cameo role instead," I was told at first that my role would be a cameo, requiring only a few days, now I have to shoot for 14 days, from daybreak to nightfall, it doesn't seem like a cameo..."
To Jackie Chan, the biggest challenge is not cooking but having to espouse Buddhism to Andy Lau while cooking. He has to deliver many difficult and tongue-twisting Zen verses. Often Andy Lau would show him little notes to help him get through.
China is plunged into strife as feuding warlords try to expand their power by warring over neighboring lands. Fuelled by his success on the battlefield, "young" and arrogant warlord Hou Jie (Andy Lau) sneers at Shaolin masters when he beats Jing Neng (Wu Jing) in a duel. But the pride comes before a fall.
Soon, Hou Jie is betrayed by Cao Man (Nicholas Tse), who is the 2nd-in-command and his buddy, and walks right into a trap and gets waylaid by rival warlord Song Hu (Shi Xiong Hong). To make matter worse, his wife (Fan Bing Bing) deserts him, while his child is killed. The crestfallen and heartbroken Hou Jie seeks refuge at Shaolin.
Hou Jie is on the verge of giving up his life when he becomes acquainted with the cheery Shaolin cook Jackie Chan who helps him see through life. He also resolves his conflicts with fellow monks Jing Neng, Jing Hai (Yu Shao Qun) and Jing Kong (Xing Yu). After becoming enlightened, he takes the tonsure.
As the civil unrest spreads and the people suffer, Hou Jie and the Shaolin masters are forced to take a fiery stand against the treacherous warlord Cao Man and his collaborator Suo Xiang Tu (Xiong Xin Xin). Led by Hou Jie, they launch a daring operation
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