Issue #201a           HOME          E-mail:        BACK ISSUES             March 1st, 2004

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Wonder Seven
(1994; China Entertainment Films Production)

Cantonese: 7 gam gong
Mandarin: 7 jin gang
English: 7 Golden Strong


RATING: 5/10


A lesser effort from talented director/action choreographer Tony Ching Siu-tung, this muddled actioner never quite hits its stride, despite some stirring chases and hand-to-hand combat. The "Wonder Seven" (Li Ning, Kent Cheng Chuk-see, Andy Hui Chi-on, Hilary Tsui Ho-ying, Xiong Xinxin, Roger Kwok Chun-on, and Vincent Liu De) are a group of orphans turned motorcycle-riding fighters, who battle evil for the Mainland government. After dealing with some thugs (led by Bobby Yip King-sang) who had perpetrated a "Big Circle" robbery, the team is dispatched to HK to acquire two special cards, which will allow access to a Swiss Bank Account containing millions of dollars in diamonds. They are opposed by Tsun (Chin Ho) and Ying (Michelle Yeoh Chu-kheng), partners who do not see eye-to-eye on how they should conduct their missions. The beautiful Ying and Wonder Seven leader Fei (well-played by Olympic gymnast Li) develop a strong attraction for one another, with Fei even sparing her life at one point. The increasingly deranged Tsun and his men (including a traitorous Mainland officer played by Wong Kam-kong, who used to work with Wonder Seven) soon target the orphans in their attempt to get the cards.

Michelle Yeoh and Li Ning Chin Ho Hilary Tsui

The film was reportedly restructured in post-production to make the plot more coherent but the story still does not play out in a smooth and easily discernible fashion. With the exception of the leads, none of the characters are well-defined and it even becomes difficult at times to tell who is who. However, WONDER SEVEN remains fairly enjoyable, if one just approaches it as a fanciful action and stunt display, forgets about context, and just goes along for the ride. One bit, featuring a runaway elevator exploding through the roof of a skyscraper, is a restaging of a similar sequence in Ching's 1985 film, WITCH FROM NEPAL. Kwan San and Elvis Tsui Kam-kong also appear.

Kent Cheng Andy Hui (left) and  Xiong Xinxin Michelle Yeoh and Li Ning


The source material is in great shape and the image is nice and colorful during daytime exteriors. Night sequences are not as successfully rendered, with too much detail lost in shadows, and minor smearing can be glimpsed on occasion. The mono audio has no serious flaws, with the Cantonese track having an edge in clarity. An excellent theatrical trailer (that makes the film look more exciting than it is) is included, plus a Star File for Michelle Yeoh and additional trailers for three of her other features: THE HEROIC TRIO, EXECUTIONERS, and YES, MADAM.

Images in this review courtesy of Universe. To read captions, hover mouse over image.

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Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2004. All Rights Reserved.

DVD Specifications
  • Hong Kong Release
  • NTSC -- Region 0
  • Universe Laser & Video Co. #5216
  • Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks (both post-synced)
  • Subtitles (Optional): English, Traditional & Simplified Chinese
  • 9 Chapters
  • 4:3 Letterbox (1.80:1)
  • 90 Minutes

Ratings & Consumer Information

  • Australia: MA 15+
  • Hong Kong: II
  • Ontario: R
  • Singapore: PG (cut)
  • Contains moderate violence and bloodshed


  • 10 A Masterpiece
  • 9 Excellent
  • 8 Highly Recommended
  • 7 Very Good
  • 6 Recommended
  • 5 Marginal Recommendation
  • 4 Not Recommended
  • 3 Poor
  • 2 Definitely Not Recommended
  • 1 Dreadful