One of the last of the Old School Hong Kong martial arts flicks, this one deals with a legendary competition in swordplay and fighting that ends up being fought between two great warriors, ... See full summary »
Mar Tien Liang is the master of the Magic Kick. When his home is attacked by the Fang Kang he effortlessly defeats his opponent, but his wife Mar Tien Liang is horrified to witness such ... See full summary »
An aging martial arts expert is gifted a plaque from the Emperor declaring him the Kung Fu World Champion. Unsure of whether or not be is deserving of this title, he embarks on a journey to defeat the 7 Grandmasters.
There were a lot of Spaghetti Easterns churned out in the 70s and 80s, and this particular movie is good, but not great. This is product, nothing move, with the obvious intention to fill 90+ minutes of screen time and get the product into the theaters as part of a double or triple feature. Then go crank out some more, rinse, repeat....
Still "7 Steps" feels to me as if someone(s) on a tight budget and schedule went to the effort to make something solid and enjoyable for their audience.
The camera and photography spend enough time on the scenery and the sets that you get a nice sense of atmosphere; the costumes are fun and interesting; and the endless plethora of fight scenes have a lot of energy and flow in fun and surprising ways (there are a few moves and stunts here that I don't recall seeing anywhere else). The cast is especially solid; these guys are mostly stunt men and fighters, not "actors", but you can see the fighters going through various emotional changes and states of mind during the fights (my criteria for a well made kung fu movie).
Even the plot even has a slightly fresher approach; instead of the "single hero revenges his fallen master/fights the evil dynasty" trope, the hero and his teacher team up in each major fight scene to beat (and mostly kill) each individual member of the gang of bad guys who want to take over their village. In fact, they are fairly ruthless and sneaky about it!
Bonus: the sound track,while muffled in spots,has some dynamic range and textures instead of the usual flute and trumpets motifs.
In short, if you like this kind of thing, you'll probably enjoy "Seven Steps". If not, this probably won't convert you.
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