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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was really the first foreign language film I ever saw (with the exception of King Kong vs. Godzilla, but that was dubbed). I was 13 when it came out, and heard it was worth watching mainly because it had some “sick” action sequences like that of The Matrix. Now I am coming back to it 15 years later, and it is better than I remember.

One of the main reasons is that I understand the story better. As a kid, I was mainly into the action sequences, but now I came to understand the characters more. A veteran warrior Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun Fat) wishes to depart from his sword, the Green Destiny (one of the coolest swords in Cinema). It is stolen from him and his fellow warrior Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh). In their quest, they come across a Governor’s Daughter, Jen Yu (Ziyi Zhang, who, when this film was released, was known as Zhang Ziyi). Althought the film is 15 years old, I still do not wish to ruin anything for the viewer who has not yet witnessed this film. All I will say is that to say Jen Yu is more than she seems to be is an understatement.

The movie has some of the most breathtaking imagery ever put on film. Zhang is actually not a fighter in real life, but incorporated dance into her fight choreography. When you see the fight scenes, it is like watching Fred Astaire with a sword.

Parents, there is only two scenes to really watch out for: one is when there is a little sexuality between Jen Yu and Lo (Chen Chang). The other is toward the end, with very (VERY) brief nudity (a female character’s shirt is wet). Aside from that, this movie gets the rating it deserves (PG-13). There is violence, but not horrible. Trust the rating on this one (besides the scenes I mentioned).

This is one of the most beautiful films ever made.

Overall: Four and a Half Stars ****1/2

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