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Two of the greatest names in the world of Japanese Action Cinema are reunited in the latest film from Japan's action maestro, Kenji Tanigaki. One is "the streetfighter" himself Sonny J.J. Chiba most recently seen in Kill Bill, while the other is Yasuaki Kurata from Fist of Legend, Legend of A Fighter and many other Hong Kong classics. Legend of the Seven Monks brings the two master martial artists together for one final time. Only thier destiny awaits.
That is right, you did read the title correctly, both of these guys are still making movies!
This movie is all about Japanese Buddhist legends. I will go over the plot briefly because if I go on for too long it will just turn into gibberish since I have no idea what I am talking about. Some demon is killing a a lot of people. He wears a hockey mask like Jason and has superhuman strength. The guy who controls the demon has been after some ancient seal for many years. Yusuaki Kurata plays a priest who is trying to stop him and he guards a 5-story pagoda. They have a ceremony at the pagoda every 12 years called a sealing ceremony and it helps to keep vengeful spirits from invading our world. The guy who controls the demon is trying to stop the ceremony from happening so that the vengeful spirits can take over the earth. Plagues, wars, disasters..., all kinds of bad thing will happen if the sealing ceremony doesn't take place. All humans will be ruled by the vengeful spirits. Kurata sends a young woman to gather the grandchildren of 7 legendary monks, and the young people form their own group of 7 to fight off the evil. Sonny Chiba finally comes into the story more than half way into the movie. Kurata tries to get Chiba to help them but Chiba is reluctant because he doesn't believe this is a fight that can be won. I don't want to talk about the plot anymore because I am rambling a bit, but I will say that the ending is odd. The entire movie is pretty crazy.
This movie is a strange blend of comedy and drama, but it is mainly a comedy. I laughed out loud at least a few times. The story is not told expertly, but I think the director just wanted to make a fun movie with some good supernatural action.Read more ›
I can only add a little to the other, very thorough review. Despite the great fight scene with Kurata and Chiba, someone looking for the Chiba of "Streetfighter" will be disappointed because this really is a different kind of movie.The English title makes it sound like a serious movie, but this is all comedy. The Japanese title, "Master of Thunder", is written in a cartoon font that makes the viewer immediately aware of it. The group that fights the demon are different stereotypes of modern Japan; an "Otaku" geek, an anime girl who works in Akihabara, an African (who is portrayed in a rather racist manner), and so on. An enjoyable tongue-in cheek-commentary on youth in Japan using traditional Japanese themes of cooperation,loyalty and friendship.
Rating: 3.5/ 5 stars.
Special features include stills, filmographies (severely truncated for Chiba and Kurata) and Biographies. The behind the scenes featurette is interesting enough, but not subtitled.
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