Saturday, November 20, 2010

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

Running Time: 120 minutes
Directed By: Ang Lee
Written By: Hui-Ling Wang, James Schamus, Kuo Jung Tsai, from book by Du Lu Wang
Main Cast: Chow Yun-fat, Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, Cheng Pei-pei, Sihung Lung


The third installment of "Ang Lee Week" comes in with "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", a movie that I've failed to see until now and that's not a decision I'm regretting too much at the moment.

Chow Yun-fat is Li Mu Bai, an accomplished Wudan swordsman. Li Mu Bai is good friends with Yu Shu Lien (Yeoh) and the two make plans to visit another friend, Sir Te (Lung) and deliver to him as a gift, the Green Destiny, a very powerful sword in the possession of Li Mu Bai. Once the sword is delivered to Sir Te by Yu Shu Lien, it is soon stolen and the main suspect is Jade Fox (Pei-pei), a warrior who killed the master of Li Mu Bai. When Li Mu Bai arrives at the palace of Sir Te, he and Yu Shu Lien begin to put together clues on where the sword may be. It is believed that the sword may lie in the palace of Governor Yu, possibly a potential setup to frame him. Governor Yu's daughter, Jen (Zhang) becomes infatuated with Yu Shu Lien and seems to envy her warrior lifestyle. Soon after it is revealed that the masked warrior who broke into Sir Te's palace and stole the sword was actually Jen and that her master is actually Jade Fox. Then they story jumps back in time a little bit to tell us about the relationship between Jen and Lo, who met when Lo stole Jen's comb during a desert raid. Jen chases Lo, trying to regain her property and ends up being held captive by Lo, until the two fall in love. Lo returns, in present day, and asks for Jen to return to him and be his lover. She tells him to leave. The Green Destiny is returned, but later recaptured by Jen and Jade Fox.


Sorry if that plot synopsis was a bit shaky, I just didn't have the energy to put very much more thought into the happenings of this movie. I really didn't like this one at all and outside of the fighting scenes, it was a total loss, from a personal standpoint. Even the fighting scenes were unrealistic, with people flying through the air and waving swords at each other while standing on treetops and skipping across water. But the fight scenes at least provided a little bit of entertainment in an otherwise un-entertaining film. The entire plot hinges on the location of the sword and at times it's stolen and then it's back in the possession of its owners. Then we take a sidetrack and delve into this long story between Lo and Jen, which all starts because Lo steals Jen's comb and it all just gets very boring and very uninteresting as we make our way to the anticlimactic ending.

Ang Lee should've stuck to dealing with real people in real, everyday situations instead of delving into the mystical world of imaginary, treetop sword fighting. Although, when it boils down to it, I think this one just fell into the unfortunate category of, "not for me". The cinematography was nice, although that really only takes you so far and the score, despite it's Oscar win, wasn't anything to write home about either. And while we're on the subject of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" at the Oscars, I'm really not sure how this film managed to wrestle away even a Best Picture nomination from films like "Cast Away", "Almost Famous" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" which are all far superior to this. In fact, I'm not sure why "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is even in the book, over any of those films. But I digress and I'll stop picking on this movie, which clearly just wasn't for me.

RATING: 3/10 Too bad, as Ang Lee was on a roll with me and this really put that roll to a halt. Next up: "Brokeback Mountain".


November 20, 2010 6:39pm


  1. I'm with you. How coud I have been bored with such sumptious photography, and a fast moving action story? Don't know, but I was. I guess I don't go for 'action' films as such. I've tried other simular films - 'crouching tiger', 'Hero', 'Once upon a time in China', and they leave me cold. So I will leave them to be enjoyed by others, and move on..

  2. Good comment..."I will leave them to be enjoyed by others"...Me too


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