Rating Explanation: for stylized martial arts violence and a scene of sensuality
Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review: One of the most dazzling and spectacular martial arts film ever made, and that includes "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
DVD Features: "Inside the Action: A Conversation With Quentin Tarantino & Jet Li"; "Hero Defined"; Storyboards
This magnificent film examines what it takes to truly become a Hero. It's the tale of the soon-to-be First Emperor of China who is on the brink of conquering a war-torn land during the violent beginning of the Qin dynasty, over two thousand years ago. Unfortunately the new leader has three opponents: Sky, Broken Sword and Flying Snow, three assassins who are determined to kill him before he can assume power. As the story starts a man, who we come to know as Nameless (Jet Li), has asked for an audience with the emperor in order to tell his tale of how he has challenged and defeated all three of these enemies. He gives a detailed account as to how he battled with and killed the 3 opponents, but when he finishes the emperor doesn't reward him, instead he counters his story with a Rashomon like retelling of events as he believes them to have happened. The assassins are played by equally respected Chinese actors. Sky is played by Donnie Yen (nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 1992 Hong Kong Film Festival), Broken Sword is played by Tony Leung (who won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for "In the Mood for Love") and Flying Snow is played by Maggie Cheung who is probably best know for her role as Leungs co star in "In the Mood for Love." Best of all is Zhang Ziyi who gave a brilliant performance in "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon". Her face is so photogenic and she portrays a natural vulnerability so perfectly that she is totally unforgettable as is almost every moment of this spectacular film directed by Zhang Yimou.