Chat gim (The Seven Swords)


Chat gim (The Seven Swords) (2005)


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Movie Info

Tsui Hark (The Blade) adapted his massive martial arts epic Seven Swords (AKA Qi Jian) from Liang yu-Sheng's popular novel Seven Swordsmen from Mount Tian. The story opens in the 1660s, following the implementation of China's (Manchu) Qing dynasty. To quell possible nationalist uprisings, the emperor issues a decree forbidding the use of martial arts, and guarantees decapitation for anyone who violates that order. A class of bounty hunters quickly formed to enforce the law and collect 600 pieces of silver for each violator; the most massive and domineering of the warriors is the bald, muscular Fire-Wind (Sun Honglei), a bellicose and volatile creature who lives in an elephantine tentlike dwelling on a hill. This walking terror selects Martial Village, a hamlet in northwestern China, as his next assignment. Meanwhile, in Martial, two young adults, Wu Yuanyin (Charlie Young) and her ex-beau, Han Zhibang) rescue an old executioner, Fu Qingzhu (Lau Kar-leung) who foresees the coming wrath and acknowledges the necessity of pulling in the mythical 'Warriors of Mt. Tian' to fight Fire-Wind and his cronies. The four warriors summoned by Fu include Chu Zhaonan (Donnie Yen), and Yang Yunchong (Leon Lai), who dramatically increase the tension and bloodshed when the former develops a crush on one of Fire-wind's hostages, Green Pearl (Kim So-yeon) and decides to kidnap her - sending Fire-wind through the roof. The critically-worshipped Hark reportedly cut two versions of this film (including a 2 1/2 hour cut and a 3-hour cut) and demonstrated incredible confidence in Qi Jian by planning it as the initial installment in a massive series of multimedia sequels, including a 74-part television series, an online video game, comics, and five additional films. The picture itself testifies to this, with the setup for a sophomore installment in its conclusion. Qi Jian, however, did lackluster box office when it opened in the Far East in July 2005, making the follow-ups less than certain.

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Donnie Yen
as Chu Zaonan
Leon Lai
as Yang Yunchong
Charlie Yeung
as Wu Yuanyin
Yi Lu
as Han Zhibang
Lau Kar Leung
as Fu Qinzhu
Yi-Ching Lu
as Han Zhibang
Honglei Sun
as Fire-Wind
So-yeon Kim
as Luzhu, 'Green Pearl'
Kim So Yeun
as Green Pearl
Duncan Chow
as Mustang
Tai Liwu
as Xin Longzi
Tai Liwu
as Xin Longzi
Jingchu Zhang
as Liu Yulang
Jason Lau
as Liu Jingyi, Village Head
Kuan-Chun Chi
as Qiu Dongluo, Liu's Deputy
Ma Jingwu
as Master Shadow-Glow
Michael Wong
as The Duke
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Critic Reviews for Chat gim (The Seven Swords)

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

Tsui is capable of better than this.

Mar 2, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

The problem is that Seven Swords' narrative is so cluttered with briefly sketched characters and subplots as to be almost impossible to follow.

Mar 2, 2007 | Rating: 2/4

This long picture unspooled to its end without ever involving or engaging me all that much.

Feb 25, 2006 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

It's a bravura, artful work.

Feb 22, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

[A] bloated Ching Dynasty actioner.

Aug 23, 2005

It's pretty enough to keep you at least mildly concerned about where things are headed.

Jun 21, 2007 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Chat gim (The Seven Swords)


Seven Swords has Tsui Hark conjure up 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 swords.

Lengthy can be used to describe the story. There's a lot of characters to go around and while sporting a decent pace early, there are moments later on when it slows down. By the time the end credits roll, 2 and a half hours have passed. With that said, there is enough material to fill the time; just not enough of the right material.

The action is highly stylized with unique weapons across the board; however, the lack of emphasis on the swords is a letdown and the editing during the martial arts segments has room for improvement.

The cast needs no introduction. Some characters have great buildup, while others are, unfortunately, left in the dust. Donnie Yen and Leon Lai are a bit stale. On the other hand, Honglei Sun and Jingchu Zhang have emotion.

Seven Swords has the potential to be much more, but it is good for what it is.

JY Skacto
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

As much as i think that Tsui Hack is an average director at best this one is not a bad flick. Mind you, the film is uneven and flawed as hell, the focus of the story is just on a couple of characters, and the rest end up as nothing but filler. That said, the fights are good, if clumsy directed at times. Colorfull villians too, the skinhead girl and fire wind are quite fun to watch. Way better actors than Donnie Yen, Leon Lai and that korean chick for sure. No classic, but decent enough to pass the weekend.

Tsubaki Sanjuro
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

A horde of bounty hunters are ravaging the land, murdering everyone in their path until one village enlists the help of 5 swordsmen from a mystical mountain top. Tsui Hark is desperate to ape the success of Crouching Tiger and Hero, and although he has some success in copying the visual style, the substance leaves more than a little to be desired. The meandering script is aimless, and just seemed like a series of contrived situations with little thought to logical narrative progression. It tells you next to nothing about any of the characters, with the swordsmen themselves introduced in a frankly bizarre scene that as far as I could tell made no sense at all. The relationships between characters are also hackneyed and cliched, and the action sequences clumsy and loaded with unnecessary visual gimmickry.On the plus side, the production design is very attractive and there is some very pretty scenery, but it is lacking the energy of his early work and the sophistication of the film's contemporaries, so his attempt at an artful epic just comes across as corny and dull.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


At times the film drags too much as we await some more ass kicking awesomeness. When it does come it is far from dissapointing. The different swords are just well cool. Pretty much a road movie version of Seven Samurai. Very, very good.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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