The New Legend of Shaolin(1994)
The New Legend of Shaolin (洪熙官之少林五祖; literally "Hong Xiguan's Shaolin Five Founders"; also known as Hung Hei-Koon: Shaolin's Five Founders, Legend of the Future Shaolin, and Legend of the Red Dragon) is a 1994 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Wong Jing, and Corey Yuen, and starring Wushu and international film star Jet Li, who also co-produced the film.
This film showcases Hung Hei-Kwun's exploits as a rebel against the Qing government. Unlike Li's Fong Sai Yuk movies, the film has a much darker tone. Hung (Li) hardly ever shows affection, even to his son, and speaks in the same tone throughout the movie. The same applies to his son, who mirrors the little boy from Lone Wolf and Cub from his hair to his facial expressions. This is one of two films in which Miu Tse and Jet Li play a father-son duo, the other being My Father Is a Hero.
The movie revolves around Hung Hei-Kwun, who arrives in his village after a raid by government soldiers, only to find his whole village destroyed. Hung Hei-Kwun quickly finds his infant son and gives him a choice between death and joining him in the rebellion. Upon leaving his village he is encountered by Ma Ling-Yee who is also supposed to be involved in the rebellion but learns that Ling-Yee had betrayed him and their village for the bounty on Hei-Kwun's head. After an epic battle, we skip ahead several years, and arrive with Hung Hei-Kwun and his now martial arts skilled son making their way through China in order to find money for food. At this time, the film introduces "Red Bean", who is in the process of swindling a very rich man out of his money. Kwun tries to leave his son in the care of his brother, but is betrayed, forcing him to kill his brother.
At the same time the government has begun to crack down on Shaolin. Pieces of a map are tattooed onto the backs of several pupils, who are then removed from the temple in order to keep safe the Ming Dynasty treasure the map leads to. Unfortunately years ago Hung Hei-Kwun's encounter with the money hungry Ma Ling-Yee did not end as Hung thought it did. Ma Ling-Yee survived the fight as a result of being dipped in poison in the last battle and restored by The Monk of the West District in the process.
Now a disgusting creature, he is after the map tattooed on the backside of the Shaolin pupils, unfortunately a swindling rich man is the father of one of the pupils. In attempts to protect his son from the government from knowing his son is a shaolin pupil, he hires Hung Hei-Kwun as a bodyguard. This leads to the rekindling of the conflict between the monster Ma Ling-Yee (who seemingly works either alongside or with the government) and Hung Hei-Kwun.
Cast and roles
Jet Li - Hung Hei-Kwun