Add a Review

  • I've just watched this movie and it's surprising to find its only get a 5.5 out of 10. I mean, come on, Saving General Yang deserves better! I went to this site to check the rating after I watched the movie and I expect it to get above 7, but after finding out that the rating was not even decent, I wonder if the people who rate it low truly watched the movie.

    What's not to like about an epic tale of a legendary general, deceived by his devious comrade-in-arms, while a barbaric foe who hold a grudge against him ready to cut him in pieces, and his 7 sons, each with different personalities, risk their lives to save his father?

    This movie has several memorable scenes, and some of them even gave me troubles to hold my tears. The fighting scenes were excellent. The only thing that keeps me from giving it a 10 is the ending, but overall, it's a joy to watch.

    I highly recommend this movie!!!
  • This is a feature film version of the Yang army story which is one of the legendary stories passed down from generation to generation amongst the Chinese population. The fact is, the film will not raise any kind of excitement or appreciation for anyone else other than Chinese people. For example, many reviewers do not even know that there are multiple versions of this story portrayed in multiple TV series. "So what?", they ask... well because you have something to compare to and once again, I stress that its all down to appreciation of the history of the story which most critics will have lacked.

    It is true that there are similarities to 300 and Troy but this is executed with style. In fact, I would use the word "Style" to describe this remake. It has a stylish look and feel to it which saved what could have been disaster. The cast features a few big names who struggle to exert their screen presence due to the vast number of prominent characters. To my surprise none of the actors and actresses impressed me with their performances, which I found merely adequate. Instead, I was more impressed by the sets and choreography as well as the movie score. The cast features two big names, Ekin Cheng and Raymond Lam, who I had expected to shine. Instead they are allowed to fall back on their wooden acting (both are guilty of this acting style) which left the rest to veteran HK actor, Adam Cheng. Unfortunately Adam Cheng tends to excel in roles that are less serious, and I felt that someone with more physical presence was needed for the role of the General.

    But still, I gave this film 10/10 purely in an effort to balance up the poor ratings given by the clueless. I was half expecting someone to confuse this film with "Saving Private Ryan". I never thought anyone would own up to it....
  • This is one great beautifully crafted movie about a true story of Yang family. The carelessness of one son can draw the whole family into trouble. And winning many wars does not only mean that you become the hero of a nation, but also mean that you become the most wanted enemy of the other nation.

    Yang General has been known in Chinese history to have remarkable tactics and bravery in battles. On the other hand, Pan Mei General who did not help Yang General in the battle because of his personal issue with Yang family, remain to have bad name until today. He was in fact demoted by 3 ranks for contributing the death of General Yang.
  • Firstly, at the time of writing this movie has only got 5.5/10 which seems kinda crazy to me, so don't be put off by the low rating.

    Firstly this film took me completely by surprise. General Yang has seven sons who have to save him (I won't say any more - no spoilers). What amazed me is how the director has managed to give each of them depth and character. Rather than simply seeing them as seven brothers you get to know each one individually, both the good and bad of each character.

    Secondly, I can't remember the last time a movie of this kind literally moved me to tears, but this one got me! It's the scene where they are next to an old grave of a past warrior. You will understand why when you watch that scene.

    Watch this movie, I promise you won't be disappointed!
  • Chinese historical stories have no lack of its own heroes who display virtues of courage, and loyalty, and the Yang Family of the Song Dynasty has been celebrated in countless of books, plays, operas and of course, film. There are many variations to the adventures of General Yang (Adam Cheng) and his seven sons in the face of deadly adversary, and this Ronny Yu directed period action film is yet another take that's done right, wiping off the unworthy stink that Legendary Amazons in 2011 had laced upon the family of valour.

    This production brings back the creative talents of those behind the scenes of the successful Ip Man movies starring Donnie Yen, such as Producer Raymond Wong, his son Edmond who served as one of three co-writers, and musician Kenji Kawai who provided the score, and you'll be assured for that attention to detail, and high production values put into this retelling. There's good balance between the more dramatic moments in the film and the requisite war action scenes, but it only did adequately enough without pushing boundaries to have made it from good, to instant classic.

    Admitedly, there are many characters here in the story, given the General and his 7 young sons, in addition to the women in the film, primarily represented by the General's wife (Xu Fan), and the Helen of Troy equivalent Princess Chai (Ady An), who drives a rivalry between the Yang family and the Pan family further when Pan's son vies with Yang's seventh son (Fu Xinbo) for the Princess' affection, only for the former to perish, and sets in motion the Pan's patriarch (Leung Ka Ying), appointed supreme commander against the invading Khitan forces led by Yelu Yuan (Shao Bing), to betray his fellow Song citizen by feeding him to the wolves with a lack of backup, and rescue troops.

    Cornered at the Wolf Mountain, this film then takes on 300 proportions, with soothsayers boldly predicting unfavourable outcomes, while the strengths of the few, in this case just seven and an assortment of a handful of loyal soldiers, venture out to rescue their father/leader from impending doom. While the opening big battle sequence involving all seven brothers was a treat, this soon gave way to a fight choreography that bordered on repetition, with shots on characters on horses wielding their weapons around, and because of their bring grossly outnumbered, finding themselves backpaddling and fleeing most of the time.

    But Ronny Yu, knowing the constraints of the story he wanted to tell, which is for the seven brothers to bring their father back home to their mom, while under pursuit by the Khitan Yelu Yuan possessing a personal vendetta against the Yangs, managed to keep the narrative moving at breakneck speed, leaving you breathless for its continuous swarm attacks of many against a pitiful few. It's a challenge featuring an ensemble cast battling it out against a stunt team, but these were action scenes crafted that managed to convey the sense of claustrophobia, frenzy, panic, and at times, fear. There's also that art house sensibility that found its way into the story through some shots that lingered around for a tad too long, giving us that detailed glimpse into the production effort in recreating that era.

    At times though you'd feel that you want to get to know more about the individuals in the story, rather than to just get acquainted for a short period through flashbacks that highlight the brothers' diverse characteristics. While that would likely stretch this to television series proportions, I thought it would provide some deeper understanding, at least of the characters played by headliners such as Ekin Cheng, Vic Zhou and Wu Chun. The villain Yelu Yuan is obviously of one track mind and objective, and it's a good thing that we didn't get superhuman with the Yang generals, which was quite the surprise with injuries sustained from the get go, once again keeping things real, with that element of danger lurking around.

    It's been a long gestation period ever since the movie was introduced at last year's Hong Kong International Film Festival, while making its world premiere recently at this year's festival edition. It's as close to a Chinese blockbuster as can be with a lightweight narrative propped up by heavy duty battle scenes. Who would have thought though, that the more dramatic moments in the film, turned out to be its key strengths, together with Xu Fan's limited moments as the wife/mom who harboured as much hope as dread as she waits out the return of her husband/boys. Recommended!
  • I have watched this movie just out of curiosity to find out if there was any "connection" with "Saving Private Ryan" and to some extent there was. The plot is quite obvious with a resemblance of old fairy tales about seven warriors. There are all movie elements you expect to see in recent Chinese movies like love, brotherhood, master and student relations, political intrigues, wisdom, betrayal, revenge, etc. Everything is the way it should be, the good guys remain good ones till they die and bad guys are either punished or learn their lesson. As a person who has been watching martial art movies for many years, I could appreciate the quality of fighting scenes choreography. I can hardly imagine how warriors of the past could fight for hours using their weapons when one gets tired after fencing for just an hour. Of course there are special effects, but most of the stunts are done with minimal "wire use" that has been heavily exploited by Jet Li in his last movies. I cannot say this is one of the best martial art movies, but I did not have a feeling of wasted time after watching it. The main thing that kept me watching this movie till the end was a prophesy written by a wise master. Intrigued? Then watch it yourself.
  • men100914 April 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    I don't know why the rating here in IMDb is so low - just 5.5 out of 10, Saving General Yang is a great movie! Chinese people always said 'Without parents, you cannot build a family; and without families, you cannot build a country', therefore, parents are so important to a family, a country and they should be respected by their children. That's the main theme of the movie and the reason the Yang's seven sons went to save their father, who was betrayed during the battle with the Khitans, even they knew they might sacrifice their lives.

    The prediction from the fortune teller told Yang's wife, the literal translation is 'Seven sons go, six sons return'. However, there's a trick, you will just know the real meaning of this prediction by the end of the movie.

    What I appreciate the most is that there is no visual effect, and the fighting and horse-racing are all done by the actors themselves - no use of doubles! Thus all battle scenes look so real! All in all, I would highly recommend you to see this movie, don't miss it!
  • Saving General Yang is an excellent Chinese period war movie in the same vein as Red Cliff and Warlords. Of course, the three of these films differ greatly. SGY takes place in Northeast China, early Song dynasty where the righteous General Yang is trapped behind enemy lines and his seven sons rush to the battlefield to rescue him. Directed by Ronny Yu, who directed some of my favorite Chinese language movies such as Fearless and The Bride With White Hair. As usual for Ronny Yu, SGY is real sharp looking with exceptional camera-work. Yu did well with this period epic with top notch cinematography, great action, nice sets/costumes, good storytelling and solid performances from the cast. As this is a war movie, I felt the film needed more blood. Even so, that is a minor complaint as SGY is a very solid and well made movie.
  • Joining a line of movies about the Yang family generals that has grown longer than their lineage is Ronny Yu's 'Saving General Yang', an earnest if slightly underwhelming recount of the bravery of their seven sons who rode forth into war to rescue their embattled father. As far as such big-budget historical war epics are concerned, Yu's addition stands out as an exemplary example of how to do large-scale action sequences right, though its simplistic story and underdeveloped characters prevent it from joining the leagues of 'Red Cliff' and 'The Warlords'.

    Co-scripting with Edmond Wong (aka producer Raymond Wong's son and writer of the Wilson Yip-Donnie Yen 'Ip Man' movies) and Scarlett Liu, Yu keeps the story straightforward in fleshing out the themes of "忠孝仁 义" – translated literally as loyalty, filial piety, humanity and justice – which the Yang warriors are supposed to personify. A border war with the Khitans from the North sees the decorated General Yang (Adam Cheng) rising to the call of his Song emperor, but he and his frontline troops are betrayed by their supreme commander Lord Pan (veteran martial arts actor Leung Ka-Ying) when the latter leaves them to fend for themselves upon an enemy ambush. To the aid of the wounded and outnumbered General Yang are his seven sons, each of whom make a solemn promise to their mother (Xu Fan) to bring dad home.

    Apart from a red herring by a prophet who foretells that "seven sons will go but only six will return", the plot is generic to the point of being bland. Quickly whittling down the good guys to just General Yang and his sons, what unfolds is a series of cat-and-mouse chases as the Yang clan attempt to evade a certain Yelu Yuan (Shao Bing) and his band of about 100 Khitan warriors, the former of whom bears a personal grudge against the veteran Yang for killing his father in battle years ago.

    In order to care about the subsequent fates of the Yang brothers, one must first be able to identify with them – and we're not talking about differentiating which actor plays which part. Unfortunately, the characterisation is shallow at best, rarely venturing beyond the badge of loyalty and heroism that every one of the seven brothers is supposed to wear so proudly on his sleeves. Among the seven, more attention is comparatively spent on the Sixth and Seventh Brother (Wu Chun and Fu Xinbo respectively) – the former we learn is deeply in love with the Emperor's sister Princess Chai (Ady An) and the latter is portrayed as an impetuous wild card often disobeying his father or his elder brothers' instructions – but neither fails to engage beyond a superficial level, except of course if you're already biased for that character based on your fondness for the actor (here's looking at you Wu Chun fans).

    Instead, what becomes clear over the course of the movie is that plot and character are just devices for Yu's elegantly staged action sequences – with the help of veteran action choreographer Dong Wei of course. The first of these immediately grabs your attention as the Yang warriors overcome their disadvantage in numbers with a smart tactical manoeuvre that literally lights up the sky over their enemies; and the rest that follow are no less rousing. Yu ensures that each of the brothers has his own well-defined personality on the battlefield owing to a certain weapon of choice – be it First Brother's (Ekin Cheng) 'guan dao', Third Brother's (Vic Chou) bow and arrow (a la 'Legolas') or Fourth Brother's (Li Chen) twin cleavers. No matter which member of the ensemble cast you are a fan of, rest assured that each gets his own time to shine on the field – though particularly memorable is Third Brother's poetic and edge-of-your-seat gripping one-on-one with a rival archer amidst a field of tall grass.

    In turn, the who's who of male celebrities in Chinese (and by Chinese, we mean Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong) cinema acquit themselves with competent to impressive physical turns. Deserving of special mention is Wu Chun, whose performance in the film's climax will surely have his fans cheering, and whom brings the right mix of naivety and maturity to a role that grows increasingly significant as the film progresses. There is also plenty for Ekin Cheng's fans to cheer for, as the once immensely popular Hong Kong actor gets probably his meatiest role in recent years that harks back to his 'The Storm Riders' and 'A Man Called Hero' films. And in a rare big-screen appearance, Adam Cheng brings gravitas and depth to his patriarchal character who is both a stern and a loving father at the same time.

    Such a star-studded cast is reason enough to see 'Saving General Yang', though one had hoped that Yu and his fellow screenwriters could have adopted a more character-driven narrative that would certainly have made the familiar story a more compelling one. Nonetheless, Yu's first film in seven years after the critical and audience hit 'Fearless' still sees the veteran director bring a solid and assured directorial hand to offer thrilling blockbuster entertainment. As for learning more about the Yang family, that will have to wait for the next Yang Generals movie, which we are sure will not be too long away.
  • Although Chinese historical war films are ten a penny these days, SAVING GENERAL YANG deserves plaudits for achieving what it sets out to achieve with grace and finesse. It's an exciting romp, a tale of survival packed with splendid action and a well-realised historical world.

    The story comes across as something like 300 meets DYNASTY WARRIORS; it tells of a popular Chinese legend about the titular character, who must hold off an invading horde with only the help of his seven sons. SAVING GENERAL YANG eschews big-name stars (the only well-known cast member here is musician Ekin Cheng, hidden among the ensemble group) in favour of a tight and compelling narrative that focuses on desperate action throughout.

    The choreography is well achieved, which comes as no surprise for a Chinese movie, and there are plenty of highlights and imaginative moments. The death scenes are heartfelt and moving. The movie does have lots of similarities to other flicks, particularly WAR OF THE ARROWS at the climax, but that doesn't stop it being from a nice action film in its own right with a pace that never lets up.
  • jeffyoung126 February 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    "Saving General Yang" turns out to be a very watchable, very good historical drama based on the historical Song general, Yang Ye, of the Northern Song dynasty. This is refreshing from the earlier historical Chinese dramas that distracted with incredulous kung fu flying stunts and such. Here the warriors, good guys and bad guys, are ordinary mortal men. Think of, "Saving General Yang" as a East Asian version of, "Vikings" from the History Channel. Yes, it's that violent but at least much more realistic. The movie is based only but one historical interpretation. The storyline blames colleague Song general, Pan Li, for treachery and cowardice by refusing to come to the aid of the ambushed and outnumbered general Yang Ye. But another history account tells it differently. The first Song dynasty emperor relied on three, experienced and highly competent generals to conquer the remaining, independent Han Chinese states, thus reuniting all of China since the time of the T'ang Dynasty. These men were, Cao Bi, Pan Li, and Yang Ye. All three proved highly effective senior generals, each man commanding subordinate junior generals. Cao Bi was a righteous, modest man who eschewed riches, wealth, rejected bribes and prevented his soldiers from plundering. Pan Li was an experienced battlefield tactician who knew how to attack Song enemies at their weak spots and weak moments and proved good at motivating subordinates. Yang Ye was from a more refined social class and upbringing and was also an astute battlefield tactician. Operating separately, the rest of China succumbed and Song China reunited the entire country, except for the far northeastern 16 prefectures which were lost in 950 A.D. by a previous, short-lived, rump Chinese dynasty, to the foreign Liao Dynasty, known as the Khitans. The second Song emperor dispatched Cao Bi, Pan Li, and Yang Ye north to reclaim the 16 prefectures from the Khitan. The three invading columns moved independently and were not coordinated with each other. The Liao armies attacked and defeated each Song Chinese army, starting with Cao Bi, then Pan Li, finally Yang Ye. Pan Li had been attacked and was unable to support Yang Ye. The failure of the Northern Expedition infuriated the second Song emperor. He demoted Pan Li three ranks. Cao and Yang were dead. The Chinese have become rediscovering and reassessing the heretofore ignored Song Dynasty because militarily and diplomatically it was the weakest of all the major Han Chinese dynasties. But a historical reassessment reveals China underwent a technological, scientific, agricultural, cultural, economic, and social 'golden age' under the Song, especially during the Northern Song era. Even when the foreign Jin Dynasty (Jurchens) conquered the northern 1/3rd of China, the remaining 2/3rds under the Southern Song remained prosperous for another 150 years until the Mongols finally violently liquidated the Song. The Song dynasty proved wealthier and more advanced than its glorious T'ang predecessor. Song China is considered a time of scientific and technological invention, many of which still exist today, such as the compass and paper money.
  • THis is a must watch. I don't understand where the 5s and 6s are coming from except you don't like action and war in true life form. Acting was ace.

    Brace up for how it will end.
  • Set in Tenth Century China this film tells the story of General Yang and his four sons. As the story opens his sixth and seventh sons are being flogged because the seventh took place in a sparring contest to win the hand of Princess Chai Meirong for the sixth... during the fight he accidentally kills the son of Pan Renmei, a rival general. When the Khitan army attacks the kingdom General Yang accepts the call to battle; taking a junior role to General Pan because of the earlier event.

    During the battle General Yang's forces are overwhelmed, he is wounded by a poisoned arrow and Pan fails to provide support. When news gets back to his family the seven sons promise that they will bring their father back to their mother... despite an ominous prophecy which states 'Seven will leave but only six will return'. They set off and find their father; getting back will not be easy though; both Khitan and Pan's forces are determined to kill them all.

    If you like historical Chinese films with lots of action then this is definitely worth watching. The story is solid and easy to follow and the action is genuinely thrilling. Most of it is standard battle action; fighting with bladed weapons and arrows but there is also impressive CGI fire and catapults launching giant boulders at our heroes. Since the brothers refer to each other by number rather than name it is very easy to remember who is who; similarly the villains of the story are fairly distinctive due to costume or hair style. The acting is pretty solid throughout and the settings look great. Overall I'd definitely recommend this to fans of this exciting genre.

    These comments are based on watching the film in Mandarin with English subtitles.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie will be receiving greatly divided reviews in IMDb; because of the exclusively Chinese topic its target audience (the Chinese populations all over the world) would regard this as an over-narrated story (with numerous TV and movie adaptations since the introduction of the movie and television industry). Therefore the impressions of Chinese viewers would likely differ drastically from spectators who had not had a chance of familiarizing themselves with the tales of the Yang warriors, the adventures of brave men and women (yes the widows) spanning sagas in Chinese fiction. First of all, despite the cast of handsome actors from the major Chinese-speaking regions, the plot was flimsy. The characters hardly got developed at all amidst the endless fighting; the audience could barely distinguish one brother from another. The movie's focus was on the to-the-death rescue by seven fighter sons of a father held in a trap by their foes. Well the sons fell unwittingly into the trap and all but one survived. Being so outnumbered, I wonder if the several fights detailing how the brothers were killed were necessary at all - they should all have succumbed when the catapults attacked the besieged fort. The final fistfight was unrealistic; there was no reason whatsoever for the sixth son to win, unless multiple tragedies also impose superhuman strength on one. The final scene appeared to hint at a sequel - with the widows all dressed in militia armour - if the standards are the same the sequel best remains unfilmed. A final point in case it is lost in translation; in Chinese "six" and "sixth" is represented by the same character, so the guru master played a word pun with the oracle.
  • I do have a soft spot for Eastern in general (no pun intended) and this was able to fill that. Now the story is simple (though I won't go into it and let you explore it yourself or read about it in the summary tag here on IMDb), but it is the action scenes and the drama that involves the family and obviously the tradition that surrounds it all.

    If you are like me, there is no question you will like this (maybe even rate it higher than me), but this is not art-house (even though some themes might qualify as such by themselves), this is an action movie. So if that is what you are looking for you could do a lot worse than this. Nice fighting, good choreography and a story that is easy to follow.
  • I just wanna say that this is such a movie which can beat many Hollywood epic movies.

    At first I saw the IMDb rating, so usually I didn't expect anything as much. But I didn't get that what I was gonna miss. Even I was counting rate foolishly during watching the movie which was just ridiculous. When it was finished, I got that this movie is beyond the rating. In a word, it is incredibly outstanding.

    Story, Acting, Fighting, War, Dramatization, Emotion everything were perfect as like as relevant. After all, the movie reminds me the moments of the movie Red Cliff. But it is more than that.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First of all, please do not believe people who tell you this is based on a "true" story. While there is a historical Yang Ye and his son Yang Yanchao, the events of this movie is extremely fictionalized. In fact, the only thing that can be verified to be true is that both Yang Ye and Yang Yanchao existed.

    Second, this is the kind of "idol" movie that plagues Chinese cinema nowadays. Yes, the dudes are good looking movie stars and the style looks good. But, substance-wise, there's not much here. There's no distinguishable personality difference about these guys. The common thread is that hey these are handsome and awesome heroes who are all willing to sacrifice themselves (as well as their unfortunate followers) to save their dad.

    Anyhow, there's a lot of melodramatic shots of heroism and sacrifice, and the end is an ironic twist to the prediction made by the old mystic man who says "seven sons will go, six will return."

    The cinematography and choreography is very well done. Unfortunately, like which many big-budget Asian films, it's more about style than substance. The characters do inexplicably stupid things in the name of honor (and looking cool), and at the end, this little more than a typical brainless waste of 100 minutes.

    I gave this a 5 because the fight scenes are very nice, and at least not a mess of CGI. There have been far worse Asian movies out there in recent years, so while I would not recommend this movie, at least it's not an utter disaster.
  • I agree with the rest of the reviewers here. It's hard to believe that this film received only a 6 (6.4 as of the date of this review). But enigmatically there is always a second meaning to numbers as one wise man might say. Perhaps it is a 9. Personally I have seen several thousand movies and this one ranks better than about 95% of them. Few action films are better and this one integrates CGI and action so very well. There is comparison to Troy or 300, but this film ranks with Troy (both far better than 300) and as well as the best action films.

    Director Ronny Yu uses his craft to create an epic of loyalty and revenge. Acting was very strong for an action film although we don't really have time to develop any characters, the best were Bing Shao's Yelu Yuan, the toughest enemy for the brothers to face, Fan Xu who plays the general's wife and Chun Wu, the sixth son. It gets sentimental at times as most any film that portrays legendary figures but that helps build the loyalty sentiments of the brothers.

    The best scenes were with the fourth and fifth brothers charging into the enemies and the archers in the field. Not every action film has artistic merits, but that last scene draws comparison with Hero and House of Flying Daggers. This film is more gripping than either of those other films and perhaps just as well made. It uses the CGI battle scenes fairly well, although improvements could be made, but it's not as impressive as Red Cliff.

    Unfortunately, perhaps some in the audience and some reviewers get confused and sentimental action films sometimes get panned. Yet, why we remember fairy tales is because they are so good. This one not withstanding is a near classic.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It's a shame this movie was rated so lowly, because I think it was a lovely movie. This movie really captures brotherhood and family which I love so much. It enables you to connect to the characters/family more. It has amazing fight scenes (only one part where the special effects could been worked on better). The scenery is also quite amazing and impressive.

    I think the only down side of this movie is that it is hard to connect to the characters so it was hard to feel and sympathize with them. Since there were so many of them, it was hard to remember their faces and which brother was which, etc. I had to watch it a second time to really focus on the characters. So if you watch this movie, I recommend that you pay close attention towards the beginning of the movie where the characters are slightly introduced, because you'll get a glimpse of what type of person they are (so you can connect and understand with them better).

    I wish that they would of made this movie longer so they had time to introduce and go in depth with the characters, but overall, it was a great movie, and I highly recommend watching it.
  • It's not really a requirement but it really does help to be familiar with the Yang Family Generals legend before watching the movie. Yes the story is fast paced and there's limited development for every single character, but granted I felt that this movie was made for a audience that already know's watsup with the Yangs. The 7th son killing the son of the Pan family in a tournament, the rivalry between the Yangs and Pans, the war between the Chinese Song empire and the Khitan Liao, battle at Golden Sand Beach, the prophecy of 7 sons going into battle, etc…..these all were introduced within 25 min of the movie. For people who are already familiar with the folklore, this is like how Marvel fans watch the numerous Spider-man adaptions….they may love it or hate it but always strong, close feelings to the source material. To people who never heard of the Yangs, it's probably too fast-paced to be appreciated or absorb fully to the narrative. The script isn't completely faithful to the origin story either as it switches from a patriotic campaign to recover lost land to a rescue mission of filial duty to save the Yang patriarch . Nonetheless, the spirit of the legend is still there. The key to enjoying the movie is not hoping that a single main character to stand out but to accept the 7 sons (and daddy Yang) as a integral entity and that they're fighting for each other and a common cause. It's really quite enjoyable as long as you're not expecting a grand treatment of a warrior family whose history suppose to span 3 generations. For a little over 2 hrs it's really not a bad job at all. Tung Wai's action was frenetic and brutal if not realistic enough to convey a certain mortal danger to all characters even the good guys. Adam Cheng impresses the most I thought. He was charismatic as Yang Ye, dignified yet humane. Ekin Cheng I thought was very effective as the stoic eldest son, who does brooding and commanding convincingly. Vic Chou was pretty damn cool as the almost silent 3rd son. The other sons were alright, they have their own moments but are overshadowed by Ekin and Vic. I thought the main villain Yelu Yuan by Shao Bing was underwhelming and generic. Xu Fan as Madam Yang was okay, she didn't really get to do much from the script except worry most of the time and weep at other times. There's some really good things like the Su Wu/Li Ling connection to Yang Ye, the breakout battle out of the siege, but some missed opportunities too (war breeds more misery angle could've been explored more of a theme, Pan Mei's enmity is more of a sideshow rather than the direct cause of the Yangs' tragedy) as the movie kinda does too much or not enough in a limited run time.

    I would say it's really worth a watch.
  • This was a very easy to follow film with a simple premise: seven sons sent to save their father, and the obstacles on their journey. The film has some really great visuals, especially the attack scene at Wolf Mountain. Bloody hell, that was great! The film also has a great score and convincing acting. Brace yourself, though, the ending is not what you expect.