Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Director: Ang Lee
Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi

A master swordsman plans to retire, but when his treasured sword is stolen, the way leads to the hated nemesis who killed his master.

I'm aware that Chinese audiences don't have half the regard for this movie as their foreign counterparts, but that isn't going to have much impact on this review. This movie is largely credited with mainstreaming wuxia movies outside of China. The story and the characters are quite good and the fight choreography is amazing. The wirework gives a lot of the action an otherworldly feel that's very distinctive if you're not accustomed to it. I particularly like Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh, but Zhang Ziyi is also quite good as the brash Jiaolong. I'd really love to explore the original novels one day, but my Chinese is going to have to get a lot further along before I can even start to entertain that notion. I'll grant that the melodramatic aspect of the plot won't be for everyone, but if that isn't much of a negative for you, this is a poignant and tragic tale that will leave a lasting impression. As this film was my gateway to wuxia like it was for many other people in my corner of the world, I have a bit of a sentimental attachment that prompts me to rank it higher than I might with a more objective judgment. Absolutely see it and if it touches you like it did for me, it'll earn a place of honor in your collection.

Treasure It