| Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
Out of stock, please
do not order.
Director: Ang Lee
Starring: Chow Yun
Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi
For his first Chinese-language assignment since
1994's "Eat Drink Man Woman," Ang Lee tries a little martial arts on for
size with jaw-droppingly exhilarating results.
A sweeping romantic epic with a strong feminist
backbone, the thoroughly entertaining "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"
also happens to boast a generous offering of seriously kick-ass action
sequences that make "The Matrix" seem downright quaint by comparison.
With a cast headed by genre superstars Chow Yun
Fat and Michelle Yeoh, the film is poised to conquer virtually every
territory it plays in, although it could probably stand a slight
trimming for North American consumption.
Screened out of competition (luckily for the
others), this impressive effort from Sony Pictures Entertainment's
fledgling Asian production division is set in the early 19th century,
during the last great years of the mighty Qing dynasty.
Deciding to hang up his trusty sword - the
mythical Green Destiny - legendary warrior Li Mu Bai (Chow) entrusts the
ancient weapon to Yu Shu Lien (Yeoh), his equally skilled female partner
in crime-fighting. They also share a undeclared love for each other.
It is agreed that she'll deliver the sword as a
gift to Sir Te, a revered Beijing elder, and it is there she encounters
the strong willed En (Gang Zip Ii), a young woman who is about to be
married off, but who envies Yu's independence.
When the Green Destiny is stolen, Yu's detective
work leads her to none other than the young girl, who proves to be an
enormously skilled fighter trained in the ways of combat by the
notorious but evasive Jade Fox.
The scenario allows for some astoundingly
choreographed (courtesy of "Matrix" man Yuen Wo Ping) face-offs between
the two women that simply have to be seen to be believed.
Incorporating some digital know-how from Cine Asia
and Manex Visual Effects, Lee has his warriors taking their
gravity-defying battles along walls, across rooftops or from treetop to
treetop, making like Ninja Peter Pans.
And in between the well-placed action, there's a
simple, moving poetry both in cinematographer Peter Pau's lush visuals
and in the words, with writers James Schamus, Wang Hui Ling and Tsai Kuo
Jung working from Wang Du Lu's novel of the same name.
Lee's cast is nimbly up to both the action and the
acting, with Yeoh and Yun Fat given the kind of opportunity to emote
that hasn't to date been afforded them in their American films.
As the highly defiant En, college student Gang Zip
Ii ("The Road Home") is assured a rewarding future in front of the
cameras. Her potent combination of impassioned defiance and youthful
innocence help give "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" both its quiet
beauty and its considerable firepower.
List Price: US $27.95
English / Chinese
/ French / Spanish / Korean / Thai
(Can be played on any DVD player in the
- "Adult Material;
Parental Guidance Recommended" (roughly equal to an
MPPA rating of "R") Films rated Category IIB
contain large amounts of violence and/or nudity and
sexual situations in addition to possible explicit
language and adult situations.