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3.0 out of 5 stars25
3.0 out of 5 stars
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There's a good film trying to get out of Tsui Hark's Seven Swords, but it seems to have been smothered in the cutting room as it shrank from more than three hours to 153 minutes to 141 minutes to 135 minutes in the UK. Clearly inspired by Seven Samurai - even down to the plot development of the seven swordsmen of the title who come to the defence of a village of martial artists facing destruction at the hand of an army of government mercenaries taking the battle to the opposing army to buy more time - it's in no danger of stealing Kurosawa's thunder. Despite a strong first half hour, it quickly becomes increasingly difficult to understand, with leaps of continuity, underdeveloped subplots and, worst of all, little character development that leaves most of its seven swordsmen completely anonymous: even Donnie Yen barely gets a chance to register. Since we never know who most of these people are, it's hard to get involved in their fate (especially since they're all but invincible). There are good moments like the light of an unsheathed sword half-illuminating a face at night or the neat swordfight with two men sandwiched up and down the walls of a narrow corridor, while the mercenaries' motive for holding off their attack (they want to negotiate a better bounty for its inhabitants' heads) is a neat touch and the action scenes are rather better shot than usual for Tsui. Yet there aren't quite enough of them to prevent the film from becoming just a bit dull and uninvolving. Be warned that there are a couple of very nasty unsimulated horse falls in the international versions of the film.

While Dragon Dynasty's 2-disc US NTSC set included the 153-minute cut of the film with an impressive array of extras - audio commentary with Tsui Hark and Bey Logan, 26 minutes of deleted scenes, behind the scenes featurettes, interviews, trailers and TV spots - Hong Kong Legends UK DVD release is a lot less impressive, offering a heavily cut version thats some 13 minutes shorter. There's a decent extras package which includes those deleted scenes if you get the original 2-disc UK release, but the single-disc version offers only trailers for other Premier Asia releases.
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on 12 May 2014
Dear god people! Get a grip! Let me put this straight, no it isn't one of his best films BUT it is a good film! the action is good, the cinematography is good, the scenes and back drops are good, the script isn't bad.....

If you want an action film with some good fights, leaping swordplay etc etc watch it you won't be disappointed.... unless of course you are wanna be movie critic and to be honest i ever listen to them anyway!!!!! lol
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on 3 June 2006
I thought i'd add a different perspective to the other review. I thought the film was really good. It's wonderfully shot, the action sequences are brilliant and there are so many little touches that make the film that much more enjoyable. The only problem i have is that there are seven main charecters and not only is it dificult to follow every individuals journey through the film, but the characters are not as well developed as a consequense. Other than that i thought is was superb, and it's not a film you can compare with crouching tiger because its on a totally different scale, with very different ideas about how martial arts should be displayed on the big screen.
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on 18 May 2007
Tsui Hark is recognised as one of HK's leading directors, but this movie is not as good as it should have been. Seven Swords is actually a long storey like Lord of the Rings, but squeezing main points in one movie is too much and the end results is that it does not really make sense. The cast is fine, but the designs are a bit OTT and that ruined the feel of the movie. To the point it lent itself too far into Chinese fantasy comics. The movie's ending is too fast and should point to the fact that there should be a sequal, but it it did so poorly, that one was never made.

I respect Tsui Hark's work, but I am not sure he is making the full usage of this creative abilities and has difficulties making CGI work. Perhaps Tsui Hark should really have a good think about reviewing his method and outlook, because Seven Swords seems too much like an early 90's effort. With so many big names, it would not have been cheap. Seven Swords is a well known Wuxia story and so much potential have been missed. There were similar faults with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. However it was stylish and aethetically pleasing enough to be liked without that being a issue.

There is a lot that is right about this movie, but so much more that is wrong. If you like action and fights, but don't care for style, then it is good. If you want style and substance, then you will be disappointed. Of Chinese Wuxia movies that have come out to the West over the last 10 years, Seven Swords has got to be the weakest. Please do watch it, because there are far worst movies out there...
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on 17 September 2015
After purchasing this film and watching it, I decided to read the very unfair reviews.
There is alot of complaints about it been edited and how terrible the story line is, but I didn't find this to be the case.
I watched this film in two parts due to my busy lifestyle. After the first half, I was left wondering how they would finish the film, it was intriguing,
The fight scenes were brutal but Well choreographed, the story was easy to comprehend and also a very well acted one, the character development yes, it was a little shallow and we didn't know much of the history behind the original 5 swords members but we had a slight history of the additional two.
The cast were amazing, leon lai and donnie yen amazed as always, these two have been paired before and they preform wonderfully.
I would definitely recommend this to people who aren't looking for donnie using his usual fighting techniques, but a good story, some wonderful characters and some gory action.
*my only bug with this film was Donnie's hair.
Thoroughly enjoyed this film.
Quick postage and packaging from zoverstock, amazing as usual
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on 25 June 2008
Before I go off on my rant, I liked this movie. It was good.

I gave it 4 stars because I thought it deserved better than 3...

This story is set in historic china, i think, in a time when practicing martial arts is against the law (possibly due to the horrid overuse of wire work in martial arts films...who knows). So what's happening is; there are a big band of nasties who are killing all the marital arts villages for money from the emporer. The gang all look pretty much the same apart from one member, I wasnt sure if it was a guy or a gal..., so they go around and slash people up real good, but this old guy steals all the name tags for the bodies. So, OH NO, they won't get the right money for them! They chase the old guy and he ends up in a little martial arts village, where three young'uns decide to help him out. The tomboy girl and the guy take hime to mount heaven where they all get super cool swords to help fight the bad guys! YAY!

The plot is a bit shakey, you don't see any of the seven swords for a while, and once you do the story seems to move a little too quickly. But hey it's a martial arts film, I know I don't watch them for the storylines! So I will let it slide...it was cut from 4 hours long!

Now, the real seller of this film to me was the fight scenes. Although some do have FAR to much terrible wire work (if it doesn't look real, i don't like it ie. crouching tiger hidden dragon). However a lot of the wire work is done quite subtely and is VERY good! The fight coreography is also exrtremely nice to watch especially the fight with the girly's sword. (I would have like to see more of that sword)

Visiually, this film is stunning (save some stupid wire work).

I love some of the swords in this. i won't spoil it but some are things you'd expect to see in an rpg or an anime, seeing things like this in live-action blew my mind.

Yeah, so it's a good film, worth watching (even if, like me, you didn't like crouching tiger, house of flying daggers and hero...) thats all folks!
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on 25 August 2014
Not just another thin Kung Fu film, but one with substance….
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on 27 April 2012
This film has plenty of action , the story line is similar to the classic Seven Samuri with good fight scenes , the locations were well thought out and overall I would recommend this film to anyone who appreciates the Asian cinema
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on 3 December 2014
Good product and great service
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on 20 December 2014
great film love it
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