Seven Swords or Qi Jian was released in 2005 and it has to be one of my all time favourite Wuxia movies. There are so many reason for this. First off it is produced and directed by Hark Tsui who has made many of my favourite wuxia films throughout the 80’s and 90’s. Secondly being a novel by Liang Yusheng and the book has links to Bride with White Hair (Baifa Monü Zhuan) of which I’m a huge fan of the 1993 film. It is really frustrating that I can only find translations for the novel Baifa Monü Zhuan and none of his other books. Thirdly the cast is amazing! Donnie Yen, Leon Lai, Michael Wong, Chia-Liang Liu (known to most as Lau Kar-leung), Charlie Yeung, and many more.
For me this film encompassed everything that I love about Wuxia. Amazing choreography, brilliant locations, a good story, brilliant actors, and good special effects. The soundtrack was epic and really inspired and gripped you during the film. The sets and props were really cool and I personally would love some Cosplay of each of the seven swords in the film!
Despite having seven swordsmen there simply isn’t enough time to tell the story of all of them. The main story revolves around Chu Zhaonan (Donnie Yen), Yang Yuncong (Leon Lai), and Wu Yuanying (Charlie Yeung). We hardly get to learn about Xin Longzi (Tai Li-wu), or Mulang (Duncan Chow) which I think they could have given as much a story to as they did to Fu Qingzhu (Lau Kar-leung). Even Fire-Wind’s (Sun Honglei) motley group of mercenaries hinted at having an amazing back story.
The film was well received in Asia and we even got a TV series The Seven Swordsmen and Tsui Hark had plans on making this a six part series but it never came about. The film for some crazy reason got poor reviews in the States. I honestly don’t know why most people found it confusing I thought it was pretty straight forward. If you’re in the mood for a fun movie with some great action scenes then I recommend you watch Seven Swords. If you enjoy the movie then I also suggest you watch Seven Swordsmen TV series as well.
Fun fact, according to wikipedia. Lu Yi, who portrayed Han Zhibang, once said that he would never act in wuxia or martial arts films again. However, when he saw the all-star cast tied to the project, he immediately accepted the offer to join because he felt it was a rare opportunity for him to work with such a strong cast.
Seven Swords synopsis at Good Drama
Review from Love HK Films
Review from The Silver Spleen