Nice film starring Chen Sing, Kam Kong and Chan Wai Man.
Chen Sing plays the son of a Ching official who is engaged to be married to the daughter of another official. The film begins with Chen Sing accompanying his mother and relatives in a funeral procession for the death of his father. While en route they are ambushed by Kam Kong (playing another official) and his minions whose aim was to steal a valuable sword which was among Chen Sing's late fathers possessions. The whole procession is wiped out apart from Chen Sing who flees into the woods pursued by a couple of Kam Kongs lackeys. As Chen Sing knows no martial arts at this point he is about to be killed when a Shaolin Abbott secretly intervenes The villains are only spared by Chen Sing's compassion which is looked upon kindly by the Abbott.
The rest of the plot revolves around Chen Sing joining the Shaolin Temple to get his revenge and Kam Kong's attempts to control the martial world. This is done by organising a tournament and inviting the top schools, who can then be wiped out. Chan Wai Man plays the top Shaolin student who learns of the outside world from Chen Sing's character and is seduced by this knowledge, especially women and Chen Sing's fiancee in particular.
The action in the film is decent but I have seen better, what the film has got going for it is the storyline. I liked the way it explored both ends of mans peronality and being. Chen Sing's character becomes more enlightened, by the end of the film he has forgiven Kam Kong and no longer needs vengeance. Whereas Chan Wai Man slowly descends into villainy, tricked by Kam Kong into working for him, but is redeemed at the end by seeing the error of his ways as Kam Kong fights a reluctant Chen Sing.
I also liked the way the end was set up by a story about Bodidharma earlier in the film. The story recanting how Bodidharma was hot headed in his youth (much like Chan Wai Man's character) and actually cut off his own arm to learn kung fu from the one person he couldn't beat. Chan Wai Man loses his arm during the end fight before he realises the error of his ways and helps Chen Sing.
Unfortunately the sound was out of sync on my copy so I heard the dialogue and the blows connecting before they happened! Other than that it was a very enjoyable film.