Aside from those, the presentation of the main character as a true shaolin monk is well done. He is consummate, a true monk in the senses presented to the viewer.
The film is presented in a way that caters to the chick-flick crowd, where the actresses and characters focus on emotions and connections emanating from the main character. Unfortunately for those interested in a martial arts film, this focus takes precedence over the martial arts aspect.
For the chick-flick fans, it should be mentioned that the presentation does not serve them particularly either. The main character does show up as a true monk, not partaking in the passing pleasures of the present, but focusing on the necessities at hand.
There are a few scenes of martial artistry, but these do not make up for the lackluster performance of the film as a whole.
As others have said, pick another one to waste your time with. This master plays his part, but the war is lost.
I rather like cheaply made kung fu films but not this cheap which is a great shame because I thought the leading protagonist, (and apparently the film's director) Peng Li was actually rather good. I don't think I've seen him in another film previously which comes as quite a surprise given that he managed to secure funding (about $27) for his own debut film.
I won't go into the story too much save to say that it is a very familiar theme-good-guy beats up bullies, rescues heroine and generally saves the day. I don't know whether Peng Li is really a Shaolin trained monk but he is obviously very good at what he does. In his katas, his kicks and punches are very fast and powerful and I suspect that with properly focused chi he could do a lot of damage and that's what makes the fight scenes so unbelievable. He is punching and kicking people with no obvious martial art skills who are then bouncing off the floor as if they had been hit with a bag of marshmallows when in reality they wouldn't be getting up again for a long time.
I've seen complaints that Peng Li doesn't smile enough or indeed show very much emotion. As a rule, Chinese people don't. Comparisons have been made to Jackie Chan but possibly they don't realise that his slapstick style is just an act for his films. If Peng Li is a Shaolin Monk or if he is pretending to be one then spending three-quarters of your life living in a monastery eating three bowls of rice and fish a day when you're not meditating or fighting with someone, then I wouldn't be smiling much either. I think he plays his part believably.
This is a modern kung fu film with an accomplished leading man and it is such a shame that his skills have been largely wasted in this dire nightmare of a film and I just hope that there is someone out there who will give him another chance.
OK, so I only saw about 15 minutes worth of this thing. It falls under the category of B movie making, so you shouldn't expect much other than some halfway decent "kung-fu like" moves. What I wanted to mention was how messed up the young social worker is. We have a young, hot looking girl in New York City who is showing the main character around the city, because, you know, he's visiting from another country. So anyway, he's obviously older, and her brain sort of works so she knows he's a monk. But somehow in the span of about a day, this hot young girl decides to get horny for this older foreign monk and tries to kiss him.......wait stop the picture....what the hell just happened? Are you telling me a hot young girl in NYC can't find one halfway decent boyfriend in a city of 8 million people to spread her legs? She's got to give it up to a visiting foreign older monk? Well that's about the most insulting thing I've ever seen in a movie. Time to leave.
There are few movies that a film lover would rent without first taking into consideration the quality of the acting - Chinese martial arts films are certainly an exception to this rule. This film is a quintessential example of that caveat, turning what initially would be perceived as a poorly scripted, amateur attempt at entertainment into a rather enjoyable two hours of remarkably impressive fight sequences. Even after reading what the movie was about, I'm still not sure the plot ever actually permeates into a logical series of events. And I've seen better acting from college kids with a video camera pretending to have talent. But that's not the reason we choose to rent these kinds of flicks is it? We rent them to have a few hours viewing of ass kicking while enjoying a late night indulgence - and to this extent the movie achieves a most lovable form of quality. What the cast lacks in talent, they make up for in looks; the supporting actresses are gorgeous and the lead actor is in fine shape. The direction and editing is notably horrific. The choreography, on the other hand, is on par with most other movies of its genre. Last Monk of Kung Fu never lives up to the level that Ong Bak set (the plots have considerable correlation) but it does provide a great few hours of action and unintended laughs.
I've seen a lot of decent Kung-fu movies, however this is not one of them. If you are expecting a Jackie Chan kind of martial arts comedy, then this is not for you (even though they do have the outtakes at the end of the film). Where Jackie Chan films are generally quite humorous, the only humor in this film comes from how bad the acting is. The fight scenes are not bad, but the horrific acting cancels them out, such that you end up at the end of the film wishing you had spent the time doing something else. The main actress is quite cute, however the storyline is so far fetched as to be comical. Seriously, do not waste your time with this flick and watch a Jackie Chan movie instead. You'll be glad you did.