What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this subtitled martial arts epic from Hong Kong and China is a particularly violent example of the genre. Not only are there (beautifully choreographed) martial arts fights, but there's also frequent shooting, stabbing, slicing, explosions -- and lots of blood. There's a serious, tragic tone to the violence, and children and animals are involved in some of it -- a little girl dies after a battle, soldiers fire warning shots at boys, and horses are injured. There are no other real issues except for the occasional iffy word in the subtitles, like "damn," "hell," and "bastard." Teen fans of martial arts movies will want to see this, especially given the presence of stars Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse, and Jackie Chan, but the level of violence shouldn't be underestimated.
- Families can talk about the movie's violence. How does it compare to other martial arts movies? What about to horror movies? How are certain scenes different from others?
- Why would the Shaolin monks practice fighting and martial arts when they're dedicated to compassion? Can violence lead to peace?
- The cook learns to believe in himself by using skills he already had in new ways. What skills do you have that could be used in more active or more positive ways?