Seven Swords (2005)

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A horde of bounty hunters are ravaging the land and murdering everyone in their path until one village enlists the help of five swordsmen from a mystical mountain top.

In Seven Swords, director Tsui Hark is desperate to ape the success of Crouching Tiger and Hero and although he has some success in aping 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.

4/10

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