In 1920s China, the lands are under the iron fist of the warlords. When the soldiers were defeated in the war were exiled from their homes, leaving the towns in chaos. The peasants were the ones that affected the most. With the heroes gone, no one could protect them so they get the idea to hire seven warriors to defend them.
This is the Hong Kong remake of the Akira Kurosawa’s classic Seven Samurai is directed by Terry Tong. Comparing it to Kurosawa’s film, it’s not in the same league…it’s not even the same sport. The movie just lacks a lot of the depth that the original has and it makes for a shallow film. Don’t get me wrong, there were a couple of cool moments like Sammo Hung and Funk Hak doing cameos but I think there was no saving the film from the jump.
The feel of this movie is deep in the 80s Asian martial arts movies where they are made a lot like anime movies with stylized fighting and exaggerated movements. It also had bit of silliness in the acting and that isn’t how one might think a “re-imagining” of a classic would be. The whole feel of this movie is pure 80s, mostly in the score. It’s a lot of synthesized music, drum kits and electric pianos. Also, a lot of older martial art movies used weapons that seem right for stage acting. Weapons in Asian films have come a long way over the years. The blades were thin and flimsy, losing realism.
Sammo Hung as Hung Sap Kan
Adam Cheng as General Chik
Jacky Cheung as Ching Ka
Max Mok as Yung
Tony Leung Chiu-Wai as Wong Wai Mo
Wu Ma as Old Man
Shing Fui-On as Kau
Ben Lam as Mau Tin Lui
Lo Lieh as Ma Cheng Piu
Fung Hak On as Wu Long
Lisa Chiao as Aunt Ping
Shum Wai as Master Kam
The movie has been transferred in 1080p AVC and it looks good. The images are soft throughout the movie but at times the detailing comes through. The images are textured enough to tell that the film is in HD. The coloring is a bit off with tones that are too warm. The two colors that stand out the most are the reds and greens that do pop but they can at times the reds are too bright. The best example is during a card game, the diamond card seen the clearest is practically glowing red. However the greens are vivid but never look bad. I even adjusted the hue setting on the TV to see if I had it too far on way or the other but came up with the same results.
The audio mix is a Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio in 5.1 that is very flawed. First off, there is a constant hiss that is heard from beginning to end. When there is dialogue, the hissing tends to get even louder than it already is and there is no mistaking it. Included with the hissing is popping and crackles. The voices mostly sound “voiced over” as if in postproduction, the sound recorder wasn’t working properly and they had to re-record all of the dialogue. As mentioned earlier, the audio track has been remastered to a 5.1 surround sound and there are plenty going on most of the channels, except the subwoofer. The LFEs aren’t just light, they’re non-existent. About 2/3 into the movie, there is a big scene with explosions that are all done with treble. It’s a just a poorly mixed release.
The release has just the theatrical trailer and no other extras.
Single Blu-ray Disc
1080p MPEG-4 AVC
Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0
Seven Warriors is a subpar movie remade from an excellent plot. Maybe if it wasn’t taken from a classic like Seven Samurai, the movie might not catch as bad a rap. Also, it might be that I am not that big into the 80s style of Asian films but the release itself has some problems that are unfortunate and very unforgivable. The audio is poorly mixed and distracting with all of the hisses, crackles, and pops. Also, the audio redub looks and sounds artificial, taking away from the authenticity of keeping the film in its native language. If you’re a fan of the original, proceed with caution but if you like the 80s Hong Kong action films, check this one out.