Starring: Eric Tsang, Felix Wong, Gigi Leung, Ray Lui, Michael Wong, Hung Yan Yan, Kara Hui.
Directed by: Eric Tsang / Hung Yan Yan
When co-director Eric Tsang was asked about 7 Assassins he said “It is a movie that pays tribute to the Golden Generation of the movie industry.” You can see why. The film is filled with stars from that period and it is great fun spotting the co-starring and cameo appearances by actors such as Ti Lung, Chen Kuan Tai, Simon Yam, Leung Kar Yan, Ken Lo, Dick Wei, Max Mok and many more.
7 Assassins revolves around the unrest after the fall of the Qing Dynasty and a group of down-trodden heroes. After a confidential report revealed that the South faction, led by Iron Cloud has taken a pile of gold, the Imperial Army managed to trace him down. Fortunately, he was rescued by a group of Gold Canyon Heroes. In order to capture Iron Cloud, the Imperial Army and the Gold Canyon heroes were caught in a struggle, with a few of the heroes eventually killed. Iron Cloud, together with other surviving heroes, decided to exact revenge for the dead.
While the film has a slightly disjointed feel to it , it is an enjoyable watch, with plenty of action and melodrama you would expect from this type of film. Sure it has the old Seven Samurai feel to it but it is done with some style and the story flows quickly reaching a satisfying climax. Eric Tsang is very good as the leader of the Gold Canyon group, Hung Yan Yan plays his usual kung fu fighting rebel and as mentioned there are many familiar faces seen as cameo’s. The film reminded me a bit of Blade Of Fury but obviously not in the same class action wise and you just get the feeling that had Sammo Hung been directing there would have been a few more hand to hand combat scenes. The choreography is good, down to earth and brutal, they don’t shy away from using guns and well as swords and overall it is a satisfying and fun film to watch. Not a classic but certainly not a failure either.
There is a DVD available but only from Thailand at the moment with a good anamorphic widescreen transfer, Mandarin language and good English subtitles.