on 13 September 2007
Gordon Liu's best role, in a film that (unusually for a kung fu film) has a compelling revenge story and great acting from all the main players. It has many quite emotional scenes which draw you into the plot and have you behind 5th Brother (Gordon) and his wronged family all the way.
Apart from the opening battle which is not very well done and clearly on a very cheap set, the fight scenes are outstanding, the best pole fighting you'll see on film. The one with Phillip Ko as the abbot is particularly amazing. You also have Lau Kar in a cameo with a trident, Lily li as the mother and Alexander Fu Sheng and the insane 6th brother.
"Where's my sister?!"
"I'm standing on her! She's in her coffin!"
(Cue Gordon Liu beating the hell out of hordes of evil doers..)
on 17 December 2013
The 7 Yang brothers are tricked along with their General father by the traitorous General Pan Mei, who having teamed up with the Tartars in an attempt to besmirch the Yang family name, outnumbers them and tries to kill them all off.
Two escape though, one making his way home a gibbering lunatic, the other somehow finding his way to a Shaolin temple, whereby he forces the monks into accepting him as a pupil of Shaolin, in order to train heavily, before eventually getting the Bat Signal from one of his sisters, so that he might save her and the family name by unleashing holy hell along with his bald headed buddies...
Lau Kar Leung directs, cameos and choreographs this action packed tale of treachery in once upon a China. Gordon Lui (5th Yang Brother) is the lead star, with Wang Lung Wei once again playing the role of the arch villain. With Fu Sheng cast as the loopy '6th' brother, in which he's given very little to do in this but go mental for the first 45minutes, tantruming at the loss of his father and brothers. And as I'm sure you can imagine, with Chinese kung fu cinema never being the most subtle of genres when it comes to emotional displays or plotting, it somewhat got on my nerves (for want of a better word!), but fortunately though, Gordon is on hand to really show off his big pole skills and really kick some ass come the last 30mins. Lily Li is always nice to see and throws a few shapes as the mother, with the other major shining light being Kara Hui Ying-Hung (The Inspector Wears Skirts), who plays her role as the plucky 8th sister to perfection.
There's some really iconic imagery in this too, like the monks training on wooden wolves ~ knocking out their metal teeth, which certainly sets this apart from the pack. Backed up by an absolute show stopper of a finale, that seriously takes some equalling ~ God knows how it looked on paper, but the insane dentistry and blood soaked gymnastics really are a cut above, surely cheering up all those of you who like your battles garishly sanguinary. Ultimately meaning, that if you can get past the corny, irritating emotional stuff in the first 25minutes, the sheer energy, excitement and action at the end will surely leave you impressed, as it's no surprise this is thought of so highly.
The Dragon Dynasty disc has no extras but looks lovely, is wide~screen and has both dubbed and subbed English audio options.
on 16 September 2015
The Yang family are ordered by the jealous Pai Ming to take part in the battle against the invading Mongol army. However they are betrayed and left to die, during the chaos only the 5th and 6th brothers are able to survive. The 5th brother flees to a Shaolin temple while the 6th is left in sane and returns home, both vow revenge.
Master director/ choreographer Lau Kar-Leung was very fond of making his films set around Shaolin Temples. Before he made this he had also directed films such as Executioners of Shaolin, Shaolin Mantis and most famously The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and its sequel Return to the 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Here he once again incorporates the Shaolin Temple into his film but it doesn't play as big of a part as his other movie had.
The 5th and 6th brothers are played by Gordon Liu and Alexander Fu. However during filming the very popular Alexander Fu tragically died in a car accident so changes had to be made to the script, with Liu now taking over as the lead and Fu's involvement in the final battle been altered and one of the Yang sisters taking part instead.
I have also prefered Liu over Fu as an actor and as a martial artist so it didn't really bother me that the character of Fu was removed half way through. Although it does seem a little strange to see that the 6th brother character is never mentioned again, but I guess there isn't a lot that could be done about that.
The film opens in typical Lau Kar-Leung fashion with the 7 Yang brothers taking on the invading Mongol army against blank looking indoor set. The fight scenes are breathtakingly staged and its not without its violence as in the final fight, peoples teeth are smashed out and one unlucky monk as some embedded in his fore head.
Stephen Shing's music is very good and the dramatic piece played over Gordon Liu's more intensely acted scenes really gets your blood going.
Overall its one of the best Shaw Brothers movies.
GREAT DVD QUALITY, Eng Subs
on 24 February 2016
I have seen many Kung fu films over years, from the best of Golden harvest and Shaw brothers. This film is easily in my top 10 of all time, Directed by the legendary director Lau kar leung, and featuring Gordon lui and Alexanda fu (Alexanda's last film).
Lovingly remastered by the people at celestial, these Shaw brothers classics look incredible when you consider how old they are, they did a superb job, very clean image with great sound in lovely widescreen Shaw scope. Also Dragon dynasty is the best western distributor and has a very large catalogue of films.
This film is non stop action from the beginning, with amazing choreography, acting, script, and story; also one the best final fights ever IMO.
Other films I recommend from Lau kar leung (some of his best)
Heroes from the east
36 chamber of shaolin
Challenge of the masters
The legend of drunken master
Executioners from shaolin
on 16 June 2016
First things first. I live in the UK and so this does not play straight away, you have to hack the DVD player first. This is easily done with a quick browse of the internet. So on to the film... This is well know to be one of the finest martial arts films ever produced, and it doesn't disappoint. The story if fairly straight forward, basically a family of amazing Pole fighters has been betrayed and the remaining family members (two of which have gone slightly mad) are out for revenge. The fight scenes are spectacular especially the end scene when you consider that there are no computer effects. Give it ago and enjoy.