Directed by Chang Cheh
Written by Ni Kuang and Chang Cheh
Cast: David Chiang, Ti Lung, Alexander Fu Sheng, Chen Kuan-Tai, Li Yi-Min, Chi Kuan-Chun, Pai Ying, Ting Wa-Chung, Leung Kar-Yan, Johnny Wang, Gordon Liu and Hsieh Hsing
Seven soldiers of the Chinese Nationalist Army vow to hold a strategic point against the endless hordes of the Japanese Imperial Army.
What is more deadly than a one-man army? A seven-man army, of course! Last stands are not only popular tales in the West but last stands inspires hope and heroism in the East as well.
7 Man Army is an extravaganza that you get if you blend war with kung fu. If you expecting 7 Man Army to make some kind of sentimental anti- war message then you’re barking up the wrong tree. 7 Man Army glorifies patriotism and bloodshed like there is no tomorrow. 7 Man Army is a type of picture that will put your suspension of disbelief to a test as it throws even conventional movie logic out of the window. While it is hard to take the threat nearly all of the Japanese troops pose seriously since they are constantly falling down like rows of dominoes, the energy behind the choreography makes the action rhythmic enough to be pleasing to the eye. There is a great scale to most of the battle scenes as 7 Man Army makes use of open fields and a literal army of extras. Claustrophobic environments are a non-issue here which plagues most Shaw Bros. productions. 7 Man Army isn’t shy on show casing great pitched battles. Any action junkie seeking endless action will get more than they bargained for. It is really easy to paint 7 Man Army as nothing more than a series of jingoistic shooting galleries which it might be but there is an effort at character building through the sporadic flashbacks and the comradery on display. How effective is the character building is debatable.
7 Man Army is a ballad of death and frenzy that dares to be bold with its unashamedly chauvinist mentality. Blood and guts is cranked up for the sake of swashbuckling fun and sentimental nationalism.