7 Man Army is a 1976 Hong Kong action movie directed by Chang Cheh starring Ti Lung, David Chiang, Chen Kuan Tai and Alexander Fu Sheng. 7 Man Army is available as part of a recent Shout Factory Blu-ray box set.
Boasting a cast of luminaries including Ti Lung, David Chiang, Chen Kuan Tai, and Alexander Fu Sheng, this monumental epic is set against the backdrop of the year 1933, drawing inspiration from factual events that unfolded during a tumultuous era. Our protagonists find themselves aligned with the 25th Division, embroiled in a valiant struggle against invading Japanese forces.
The film unfolds with a visceral battle already underway, inviting audiences to immerse themselves in the chaos of combat. However, the screen direction deliberately amplifies the tumult, rendering initial comprehension a challenge. Despite this, our protagonists ultimately prevail by wresting control of the fortified stronghold known as Badaolouzi, dealing a blow to the advancing Japanese forces.
Of significance are the portrayals of Gordon Liu, Beardy, and Johnny Wang, who embody Mongolian mercenaries aligned with the Japanese Army. This allegiance manifests in a mid-film assault on the stronghold, infusing the narrative with tension and intrigue. Alongside these pivotal moments, the middle segment of the film skillfully delves into the characters’ pasts, facilitating not only deeper connection with their motivations but also showcasing smaller-scale hand-to-hand combat sequences.
In the third act, a full-scale Japanese invasion ensues, culminating in a harrowing spectacle of bloodshed and chaos. Action takes center stage, and while the film offers an exhilarating experience, a degree of suspension of disbelief is required to enjoy the overall film.
The expansive production budget is unmistakably evident through the grandeur of the film, which features a multitude of extras, formidable tanks, and even aerial engagements involving planes. These elements collectively contribute to a cinematic opus that immerses viewers in a world of historical strife and valor, exemplifying the monumental scale and vision of the Shaw Brothers studio.