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Film / The New Legend of Shaolin

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The New Legend of Shaolin (also known as Legend of the Red Dragon) is a 1994 martial arts film starring Jet Li.

The film tells the story of martial artist Hung Hei-Kwun and his young son Hung Man-ting, who are involved in a rebellion against a corrupt government. Having lost their village after being betrayed by Hei-Kwun's former ally Ma Ling-Yee, the father and son duo travel through China, searching for money and food. The two are taken in to serve as the guards for a rich man, Ma Kai-Sin. However, trouble lays afoot when the government arrives in the village in search of a map tattooed on the backs of several young monks, and Hei-Kwun is forced into battle against Ma Ling-Yee.

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The film includes the following tropes:

  • An Aesop: There is more to life than money.
  • Disney Villain Death: Ma Ling-Yee dies from plummeting into a vat of acid.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Hei-Kwun has this reaction twice: the first time when Ma-Ling Yee betrays him, and a second when he discovers that his own brother plans to kill him for the reward money.
  • Playing Possum: Red Bean's mother often plays dead to swindle people of their money.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The government has no problem abducting and killing children.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Red Bean pulls one, pretending that Hei-Kwun had attempted to rape her in an attempt to get him kicked out of Kai-Sin's house.
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