Thursday, 18 August 2016

Shaolin Girl (4 Stars)

Rin Sakurazawa comes from a small Japanese village and grew up with her grandfather, a master of Chinese kung fu. When she was nine her grandfather sent her to a Shaolin temple in China to train her kung fu skills. (I wasn't aware that Shaolin temples accept students who are women or Japanese, but I'll let it pass). She doesn't even take a break from her training when she receives news of her grandfather's death. After 10 years she returns to Japan, and she's shocked to find that the local dojo has closed. The dojo's former teacher now owns a restaurant that serves Chinese noodles. Rin tries to encourage people to learn kung fu, but nobody is interested. Only Minmin, a part time waitress in the Chinese restaurant, agrees to learn kung fu, on condition that Rin joins the university lacrosse team. Soon all the girls in the lacrosse team are learning kung fu in order to improve their lacrosse skills.

There's a subplot going on which I didn't understand. A secret organisation based in the university is attempting to make money out of exploiting the university's best athletes. Judging by the menacing music every time we see this clandestine group they must be very, very evil, but I fail to see what's so bad about a university helping athletes to succeed. Isn't that what they all do, especially in America? There are also connections between this organisation and a Japanese fighting school, which makes it even more confusing.

This isn't a film to be taken too seriously. It's light-hearted fun with over-the-top fight scenes and lacrosse games. I just wish I could have understood the motivation of the evil organisation.

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