Film Fan Dojo Movie Review:
Shaolin Iron Claws
Starring: Wang Tao, Li I Min, Chang Yi, Chen Sing, Chu Li,
Directed by Ko Shih Hao
“The Republic is here to stay.” Or is it? The warlord Chang Sun (Chen Sing) tricked the heirs to the Manchu throne into signing a secret document which gave him total power. In an ensuing argument with representatives of some of the most powerful families and pro-republican forces Chang Sun kills two dissidents and forces the others to sign a secret document.
Righteous lawman Commander Hu (Wang Tao) protects his town with his hawk fist style and when the document is accidently seen by several town citizens, through the mischievous activities of the Poon brothers, strange occurrences start to happen in the otherwise peaceful town. When murders began to happen to the people who saw the secret document, including his best friend’s Ping Lung (Li I Min) girlfriend, Commnader Hu begins to piece things together. The Commander, along with the beautiful and volatile Ms. Poon, develops a plan to find out the identity of the mysterious assassin. Through a series of planned events, Commnader Hu and Ms. Poon discover the killer and an even bigger scenario at play orchestrated by Long White Hair (Chang Yi).
Shaolin Iron Claws is overflowing with fight scenes showcasing excellent Kung Fu choreography. Once again Wang Tao shines with his strong physical performance. Li I Min’s acrobatic style is a perfect counter to the more gritty and grounded style of Wang Tao. Chang Yi’s “Mantis Fist” is particularly deadly and precise as well. Action directors Ko Pao and Chang Chi Lung do a great job in choreographing the contradictions in the styles between the characters. The last fight scene pitting Commander Hu(Wang Tao) and Ping Lung(Li I Min) against Long White Hair(Chang Yi) is superb and a great visual festival of claws, feet, and flips.
Another hit from the combination of Wang Tao and Chang Yi. The comedy scenes with the Poon brothers slightly distracted from the overall tone of the movies, but they are necessary to move the plot along. All in all, Shaolin Iron Claws is a good Kung Fu film with solid fight scenes and a workable plot twist.