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Exalted Movie Mondays – Seven Swords

August 9, 2010

This week’s edition of Exalted Movie Mondays comes with a big thanks to forum-user Nnyv, because it was her suggestion that led me to the film in question: Seven Swords. I’d never heard of it before I got her Facebook message, but I’m very glad I did!

Seven Swords is a more-or-less wuxia film about historical China, where the Emperor has outlawed martial arts. Bounty hunters, led by Fire-Wind (a name right out of Exalted) hunt down practicing martial artists, and are down to nearly the last village, where everyone practices martial arts to defend themselves from bandits. The villagers travel to Mount Heaven, where they enlist the aid of legendary swordsmen to protect the village from the bounty hunters.

Aside from the martial arts and wuxia, the movie has a number of very Exalted themes. As my roommate said, the villains all have weapons that look like they came right from He-Man, and, in fact, the villains all look like He-Man villains, if He-Man had been fighting Abyssal Exalted. Each of the seven titular heroes has a unique sword forged by The Master, who is a Sidereal craftsman if I ever saw one. The swords are all obviously artifact weapons, each with its own special quality or trick.

The characters themselves are Exalted as well, with over-the-top love stories, dramatic histories, and deep, personal conflicts with Fire-Wind, any of whom could have come right out of an Exalted chronicle. The heroes themselves could fit a variety of archetypes, though the “wandering hero” does fit more with the Beowulf-esque nature of Solar Exalted.

In the end, it’s not terribly surprising that the film has Exalted overtones, as, again, it draws from similar source material. While the director makes some… interesting… choices, giving us interludes that make little to no sense or pausing in the middle of high-octane combat to look at a fluttering pennant for example, the movie in general is a good one, especially for those new to Exalted. If you’re looking for an example of Exalted in film, I can’t help but recommend Seven Swords.

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