It's been a while since I've seen a Gao film, then again, it's been a while since he's made a new one. Seven Killings felt a lot like Gao's The Message, though just a little less focused and contained. That said, it's not hard to see why he's considered to be one of the better directors of the recent Chinese wave.
Nanjing, 1940. The city has been occupied by the Japanese army and is run by a Chinese faction that is collaborating with the Japanese. Not everybody is on board with the way things are going, and so the city becomes a hotbed of betrayal and rebellion. Danger lurks around every corner.
Many Chinese films have been harking back to the wars fought almost 90 years ago, to the point where the setting is getting a little tiresome. It's a shame, because the performances are strong, the cinematography is lush and there's quite a bit intrigue present in the plot. A good film, but it's lacks that little something to make it truly special.