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Film / Seven Swords

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Seven Swords is a 2005 epic fantasy Wuxia movie directed by Tsui Hark and starring Donnie Yen, Kim So Yeon, and Lu Yi, and Michael Wong.

A peaceful village is threatened by a powerful warlord set on collecting the government bounty on martial artists—three hundred silver pieces per head—not sparing the women or children. Seven powerful swordsmen assemble to protect the peaceful but threatened Martial Village.

Sound familiar? Yep, it's "Seven Samurai plot" again, this time in Qing dynasty China.

There is also a related TV series Seven Swordsmen.

This film contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Yuanyin grows into a competent warrior worthy of fighting alongside her Seven Sword comrades.
  • The Atoner: Fu was once an imperial executioner and torturer.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The contraptions, including a weaponized umbrella, that Fire-Wind's lieutenants use.
  • Avengers Assemble: A staggered example, as Fu, Yuanyin and Han assemble first, and then the other four.
  • Axe-Crazy: Fire-Wind. For a more literal example, some of Fire-Wind's minions uses axes as their weapons.
  • Bad Boss: Fire-Wind, who executes one of his men for interrupting his private time...and orders that his body be turned in as an outlaw for the bounty.
  • Bald of Evil: Fire-Wind, the Big Bad and most sinister character in the movie.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Between the Korean Green Pearl and Chinese Yufang, about their mutual liking for Chu.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Fire-Wind is defeated.... but Martial Village is destroyed, and only the children survive.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: one of the seven has a unibrow.
  • Bleed 'Em and Weep:
    • Yufang has a major Freak Out after killing the traitor. A justified example, as she has been acknowledged to hate violence and death, and has already had a minor breakdown from exposure to more of the same.
    • Yuanyin also has a minor example of this, breaking into tears after her fight with Mud-Trot.
  • Character Focus: The Seven consist of Chu, Fu, Yuanyin, Han, and...some others.
  • Cool Sword: Eight, counting one which is an unfired Chekhov's Gun for the never-made sequels.
  • Commonality Connection: Green Pearl and Chu are both Korean, and both have been branded as slaves.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The disciples of Mount Heaven, to a man.
  • The Epic: The finished cut is two and a half hours long. Prior versions ran to four.
  • Fan Disservice: Fire-Wind and Green Pearl's love scene is fairly disturbing.
  • Give Me a Sword: Chu, after he loses The Dragon to Fire-Wind.
  • Honor-Related Abuse: Yufang's father, the village chief, is prepared to let her hang for helping rescue Fu.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Narrowly played straight.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Fire-Wind's lieutenants.
  • Magnificent Seven Samurai: An example of the trope. Even warriors come together to protect a village from a diabolical General.
  • Meaningful Background Event: blink and you'll miss it, but Hua's father is among the nametags brought back by Fu.—which informs his subsequent betrayal of Yufang, and his All the Other Reindeer treatment by the other children for the rest of the movie.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Fu announces his name to Hair-Wolf in something of a He's Back! moment.
  • Named Weapons: The Dragon, The Deity, Heaven's Fall, Shooting Stars, the Transcendence, and...a couple others.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Fu's thanks for warning Martial Village is a planned lynching, and Yufang's for her part in rescuing him from this is the same.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Yuanyin and Han are Bash Brothers...although a throwaway line suggests they had slightly more going on in the past.
  • Old Master: Fu is one—who has to pay his respects to another, the Swordsmith of Mount Heaven.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Han trying to find a way to bring Joy-luck, a crippled, elderly horse, along with the refugee column.
    • Transcendence's relationship with Hua.
  • P.O.V. Shot: subtly, most of the movie, including the battle scenes, is shot from from the point-of-view of the female characters.
  • Sequel Hook: The movie was intended to be part of a hexalogy.
  • Scenery Porn: A scene of the seven viewing the sunrise seems to be included purely because it looks really pretty.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Chu catches Green Pearl caressing her broken chains. He's not happy.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Fire-Wind goes from normal conversational tones to shouting when he's told seven swords have protected the village.
  • Sword In The Stone: The Deity is sharp enough to cut stone...and it's not even the most powerful of the seven.
  • Sword Fight: The movie has tons and tons of these between the seven and Firewind's minions. The climax ends with Chu taking on Fire-wind in an epic sword battle.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Chu to Fire-Wind before their final Duel to the Death.
  • Technical Pacifist: Fu has sworn off killing (for the most part). It will not stop him from, say, amputating an arm.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Chu throws The Dragon to save Green Pearl from a net, which does work, except that Fire-Wind picks it up.. Han also throws his sword to pin the chains down and prevent Chu from being ripped in half.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Yuanyin spends most of the film struggling to not get stabbed by her own sword, let alone fighting. Once she masters the Heaven's Fall, she is able to kill a lieutenant on her own in the final battle.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Yufang and Yuanyin, the two girls, to Han, the guy.
  • Wall Slump: In the final duel, Fire-Wind is impaled by The Dragon against the wall. Once Chu withdraws the sword, Fire-Wind slowly slumps over and dies.
  • Villainous Crush: Fire-Wind is obsessed with Green Pearl.