The Yang family of 7 brothers were once the back bone of the Imperial army, loyal patriots who would risk their lives for others. But one day they find themselves betrayed, thrown into combat with the Mongol army where only 2 of the brothers survive the bloody onslaught. Whilst one of the surviving brothers makes it back to his mother and sisters who help to keep him hidden and protected due to being left traumatized the other brother goes on the run, constantly looking over his shoulder in case the general who betrayed them has tracked him down before he can reach the emperor to testify to the General's treachery.
Whilst I am not an aficionado when it comes to the martial arts movies from Hong Kong I have grown to like them. Now up until now all those I have watched have been from the 60s and 70s and I have to say that after watching "The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter" from 1984 I prefer the older movies as well. The thing is that "The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter" has much of what those earlier movies had from impossible fight scenes to a storyline which easy enough to follow so that even if you struggle with foreign language movies it is easy enough to follow. It also has some shock scenes including the self inflicted marks one of the brothers places on his head to try and avoid detection.
The trouble I have with "The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter" is I suppose down to a case of ambition as you have many a fight scene where one person takes on a small legion of men. The trouble is that whenever you do this the choreography becomes more complex and there are a lot more edits used to piece it together and it causes the fight scene to lose its beauty when every second you get a cut due to the complexity of staging the scene. Oh there are other issues, clearly visible rubber weapons doesn't help matters and some of the acting is for me wildly over the top which contributes along with the over edited fight scenes to make this feel forced.
What this all boils down to is that whilst I am sure those with a greater passion for these martial arts movies will enjoy "The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter" but for me it lacks the beauty of a flowing fight scene due to their ambitious nature causing them to be over edited.