Kids from Shaolin

I had been expecting a follow up to the story in the first Shaolin Temple film, but surprisingly this second film in the Shaolin Trilogy has no connection to the first film in either characters, plot or even mood. Many of the same actors are in this film, but in completely different roles.
Guess who?
While the first film was your basic blood revenge story, this outing is much lighter and playful in nature as it combines terrific wushu with a plot that is part Romeo and Juliet and part Seven Brothers (make that eight) for Seven Brides. There is singing (even Jet – though I don’t believe that deep baritone was his !) and much comical interplay between the characters. Though there is some wonderful acrobatics and wushu performing, there is no real action until the final fifteen minutes.
Love is in the Air !
There are two families on opposite sides of a river. One has all daughters and the other has all sons. The girls practice Wudong swordmanship and the shaolin boys – kung-fu. There is a rivalry between the two families, but as expected some of the couples find themselves attracted to one another. Jet Li is the oldest boy.
In a flashback, it is shown that the boy’s parents were killed by some bandits 10 years previously and that the man who adopted them saved their lives and put out the eye of the main villain. All these years, the bandit has been planning his revenge on the shaolin kids. He first plots to have the two families go against each other and then later attacks both in force. This leads to an enjoyable fight.
An enjoyable film though once Jet breaks into song it is a bit difficult to take any of it seriously. Much of it is silly but the joyful exuberance of the actors is catching. Much of the filming seemed to have taken place in the magnificent Guilin region and the landscapes are breathtaking.

My rating for this film: 6.0