Screened at Golden Shadows on 28 October 2001:

Wonder 7 is a magnificent comic book of a film. Star appeal, outstanding action sequences and a turbo charged storyline combine to create a totally entertaining pulp movie experience.

The title refers to a group of highly trained mainland Chinese crime fighters stationed in Hong Kong. Each member has a specialised combat ability which has been honed to the finest degree. Real life Olympic gymnast turned actor, Li Ning, is the unit's operational leader, Yip Fei, a martial arts expert and dab hand with a knife. Porky Kent Cheng (the butcher from Once Upon a Time in China) is Nanny, the physical and spiritual head of the group. Hilary Tsui (the girlfriend from Mad Stylist) is Tiny, a human dynamo and dexterous archer. Cantopop star Andy Hui is tagged Superman, and Hung Yan-Yan (the killer from The Blade) takes the role of Monk, a Shaolin priest turned crime buster. The skills of the seven are displayed in all their glory during the film's opening minutes as they arrest a gang of armed robbers on a crime spree in central Hong Kong.

The seven are given an assignment to stop a corrupt Chinese General from accessing his ill-gotten millions via a Swiss bank account. The plan is to locate a computer card which will open the account. Ying (Michelle Yeoh) and Tsun (Ho Chin) are a shadowy couple from America who are in Hong Kong to transfer this card to General Yeung. Tsun is a classic HK movie villain with a maniacal laugh and a penchant for shooting his way to the top of the criminal tree ; whereas, Ying epitomises criminal chic with a price tag lethal streak. Yeoh has never looked better on screen, in Wonder 7 the camera loves her flowing dresses, her long ebony hair shining in the moonlight (the wind machine was working overtime in this film) and her martial arts sequences that have a distinct eroticism to them. As star vehicles go, Wonder 7 is a stunning screen accomplishment for La Belle Michelle.

Ying and Fei meet early in the movie and the sparks fly as they play a deadly game of cat and mouse, tinged with a blossoming romance. Yes! Again, only in HK movies!! 

With top Hong Kong screenwriters Charcoal Tan (Dragon Inn, The Assassin) and Elsa Tang (Swordsman 2, The Fire Dragon), director Ching Siu-Tung (A Chinese Ghost Story, Terracotta Warrior) has shaped a credible script with enough twists and turns to keep any audience on its toes. In keeping with the cartoon style, Ching also has fun at the expense of the Chinese army with Tsui Kam-Kong's role as Coach ("Bold Head"), Fei's mentor. By the film's end Tsun has become an absolute wacko and is depicted as being a gruesome cross between Scarface's Tony Montana and the sleaziest game show host you could imagine.

Back in the early 90s, when HK directors had budgets to burn, Ching Siu-Tung pulled out all stops with the action content of Wonder 7. With veteran lensmen Poon Hang-Sang (Peking Opera Blues, Centre Stage) and Peter Ngor (Full Contact, C'est La Vie Mon Cheri), Ching creates visuals which will lodge in your brain - a sniper attack in the Hong Kong Coliseum has the screen bathed in a deep red and lets the action unfold against the backdrop of a huge Chinese flag. A shootout in a hospital has some truly amazing moments, watch for the "duelling wheelchairs". The explicit violence in this sequence is leavened by some unintentionally hilarious subtitling, ie. Yeoh's "unfortunate encounter" and Hilary Tsui's "he's recovered". Most of these scenes are supported by the very enjoyable Wonder 7 theme, penned by composing duo Lo Ta-Yu and Fabio Carli (A Moment of Romance).

The many night scenes are a standout and look tremendous, whether detailing action or creating atmosphere. Top line Cantonese directors and cinematographers often infuse the canvas of the night with a hyper surrealism that is uniquely Chinese. (A style pioneered by the set-bound Shaw Bros. martial arts pics of the 60s and 70s.) 

The breakneck speed of this narrative eventually has downtown Hong Kong swarming with dark suited machine gun toting gangsters being pursued by busloads of Chinese soldiers. In the midst of this chaos stands the Wonder 7 team. The superb bullet riddled action finale takes place in a 60 storey tower building, and combines motorbikes and martial arts in action choreography the likes of which have never been seen before. Throw in an out-of-control helicopter and enough explosives to blow up half of Hong Kong Island - Wonder 7 goes well over the top - and then some more! 


Ching Siu-Tung's slick flick unleashes wonder stuff... the helicopter stunt finale is truly breathtaking.  IMPACT MAGAZINE

Director Ching stages non-stop barrages of hair-raising
motorcycle stunts, wild kung fu conflicts and
staggering shootathons.




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