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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo hu cang long) (2000)

  Directed by: Ang Lee
Written by: James Schamus, Kuo Jung Tsai, Du Lu Wang, Hui-Ling Wang
Starring: Chen Chang, Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang
Links: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 10.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo hu cang long) (2000) is also mentioned in timchuma's review of Bichunmoo (2000), timchuma's review of Butterfly and Sword (1993), timchuma's review of Dragon Inn (1992), timchuma's review of Hero (2002), pearly's review of Hero (2002), timchuma's review of House of Flying Daggers (2004), pearly's review of House of Flying Daggers (2004), citizenjoe's review of Hulk (2003), pearly's review of Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) and timchuma's review of Time and Tide (2000).

"A classic of the genre" - a review by timchuma

Li Mu Bai, after many years as a fighter from Wudan Mountain, has decided to retire from the life of being a valiant hero and hands his 'Green Destiny Sword' to his friend Yu Shu Lien, so that she can give it to Sir Te in Peking for safekeeping.

However, once the sword is in Sir Te's house in Peking, it is stolen by a mysterious figure who seems to be related to Governor Yu, but this cannot be proved without more evidence.

Meanwhile, one of Sir Te's guards discovers that a police officer from the Western Province of China has been tracking a notorious criminal known as Jade Fox and has tracked her to Governor Yu's compound, but he can't move in until he has more proof. He has the chance when he is challenged to a duel at midnight by Jade Fox, during which Li Mu Bai turns up to offer assistance, along with the mysterious figure who stole the sword and is fighting on Jade Fox's side.

After the duel, the Governor's daughter Jen, who is to be married in a few days, is called upon by her former lover, Lo. They reminisce about years past when Jen chased after Lo (or Dark Cloud as he was known), after the Governor's caravan was attacked in the desert by bandits and he stole her jade comb.

Jen chases and fights Lo for many days in the desert before she finally collapses of exhaustion. She awakens in a desert cave after many days resting, and she still wants her comb! Despite these circumstances (or perhaps because of them), they become lovers.

Back in the present, Jen tells Lo to go away as she is getting married, but Lo wants to take her back to the desert. Jade Fox is also a danger as she disappeared soon after the duel and Li Mu Bai is looking for her.

I'll let you see the rest for yourself, but this has to be one of the best epic fantasy movies I have seen for quite a while. In places it is like a more involving version of The Storm Riders (1998) and it has the same sweeping storyline of the Once Upon a Time in China (1991) series, as well as having excellent performances from Yun-Fat Chow and Michelle Yeoh and the supporting cast.

The scenes that really stood out in my mind were the desert sequence with Jen and Lo and the flight / fight across the rooftops when Yu Shu Lien is pursuing the thief of the 'Green Destiny Sword'. The remainder of the movie is also impressively shot and the musical score is excellent.

timchuma gives this movie 10 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 1 Dec 2004

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