Return to the 36th Chamber

Watch Return to the 36th Chamber

"Back for the rest!"
  • R
  • 1980
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 6.9  (4,199)

Return to the 36th Chamber is a Hong Kong martial arts comedy film produced in 1980, directed by Chia-Liang Liu and starring Chia-Hui Liu, also known as Gordon Liu. It is the third installment in the 36th Chamber franchise, but it can also be enjoyed as a standalone movie. The plot follows Liu Yu-de, a well-known Chinese revolutionary who has become disillusioned with the cause and decides to go into hiding in the countryside. However, his disguise is soon uncovered by a group of bandits who demand that he teach them martial arts. Rather than revealing his true identity, Liu decides to pretend to be a Shaolin monk and train the bandits in the ways of kung fu.

The training sequences are the centerpiece of the movie, and they are a delight to watch. Liu takes the bandits through the various chambers of Shaolin, starting with the basics of balance, breathing, and stance, and moving on to more advanced techniques like the use of weapons and acrobatics. The humor in the movie comes from the bandits' incompetence and the way they struggle to master even the simplest moves, while Liu maintains his stern facade and traditional teaching methods.

As the bandits start to improve, they are able to defend themselves against rival gangs and attract the attention of the local authorities, who are struggling to keep order in the region. This leads to a final showdown between Liu and the main villain, who is a corrupt official using the bandits for his own gain. The fight scenes are well choreographed and entertaining, with Liu demonstrating his expertise in a variety of styles and weapons.

The theme of the movie is the power of knowledge and discipline to transform individuals and society. Liu's teachings are rooted in the Shaolin philosophy of using kung fu as a means of self-improvement and enlightenment, rather than as a tool of aggression or revenge. This message is conveyed in a lighthearted way, with plenty of jokes and sight gags, but it is still a serious one that resonates with the Chinese cultural values of hard work, perseverance, and respect for tradition.

The acting in the movie is solid, with Chia-Hui Liu delivering a charismatic performance as the wise and patient kung fu master. The supporting cast is also good, with Lung-Wei Wang as the villainous official and Hou Hsiao as Liu's loyal friend and former comrade. The film's music score is composed by Yen Cheung, and it features a blend of traditional Chinese instrumentation and Western orchestration that adds to the film's festive tone.

Overall, Return to the 36th Chamber is an enjoyable and uplifting kung fu movie that will appeal to fans of the genre as well as those who appreciate a good comedy with heart. It explores themes of self-discovery, camaraderie, and redemption through a series of entertaining and well-executed martial arts sequences, and it delivers a message that is both timeless and relevant. If you're looking for a fun and inspiring movie to watch, this one is definitely worth checking out.

Return to the 36th Chamber
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (4,199)