Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This action film from mainland China is a standard story about two competing groups of martial arts experts living across a river from each other. It is the star Jet Li (aka Jet Lee, Li Lianjie) -- the personality who carried the first Shaolin Temple film to wide-spread popularity in China, Hong Kong, and other foreign venues -- who notches up the caliber of the story a level or two. Li plays Tin Lung, the second-in-rank at the Shaolin Temple after the old master himself. One day looters set fire to the temple and Tin Lung, his brother, and seven boys flee to the protection of a nearby village where Tin continues their training in the martial arts (wu shu) of the temple. Across the river is another family of eight daughters whose father is a master of the Wudong school of kung-fu involving swordplay. There is a rivalry between the two opposite schools, enhanced by the male/female divisions and some inevitable romantic links -- but when the looters threaten more trouble, everyone is mobilized.
martial-arts, rival, Shaolin, swordmaster, temple