7 Grand Masters is a 1978 kung fu film directed by Joseph Kuo, starring Mark Long, Jack Long, Corey Yuen and Lee Yi Min. It was filmed in Mandarin, as opposed to Cantonese which is more common due to Hong Kong's enormous output on the genre.
Shang Kuan-cheng (Jack Long) is about to retire as the land's champion, but on the day of his celebration, he recieves a letter indicating that he's got some unfinished business. So off he goes, along with his daughter and his fellow students/disciples, to travel to different regions and beat the 7 champions to secure his status and peacefully retire.
Along the way, a young vagabond named Hsiao-ying (Li Yi-Min) tries like hell to be accepted as one of Shang's students, but he keeps on facing rejection. Sure enough, the old master eventually grants him his wish and Hsiao-ying soon becomes Shang's best fighter. But what's the real reason why Hsiao-ying wanted to join along in the first place?
I thought this was a pretty good one. I couldn't believe how fast the pacing was in this. And even though there's some choppy editing towards the final act when all the ends are tied up, this should still go down as one of Director Joseph Kuo's finer moments.
Reviewed by Laydback - 9/19/07