Movie Review: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Starring Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang

Directed by: Ang Lee

Li Mu Bai is a great warrior who decides to turn over his sword but it gets stolen by a mysterious person. It is up to him to retrieve his sword and in the process take revenge upon Jade Fox who was responsible for killing his master.

Earlier on this year I watched Bulletproof Monk which also starred Yun-Fat Chow and was really disappointed by how it turned out. He comes with such a high reputation from Asian cinema but it felt like Hollywood had no idea how to handle him appropriately. I wanted to see a movie which confirms his hype and shows his true ability so thought no better place to start than with the hugely successful and widely popular Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It’s another movie that’s been on my radar for such a long time but Asian fantasy adventure movies are something that you really have to be in the right mood for otherwise you just won’t enjoy it as much as you could’ve.

I found Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to be a beautifully filmed movie which had its fair share of excellent fight scenes which were filled with magic and grace. Yun-Fat Chow was superb to watch as he plays legendary warrior Li Mu Bai, his action sequences were mesmerising and it’s certainly something I could watch for hours on end without boredom setting in. In addition to the action sequences, the location was pivotal to setting the tone of the story and each location that was chosen was simply perfect. It was shot all across Asia which showed how much of a beautiful place that particular continent is. What I also enjoyed was the form of fighting that was selected. Instead of the brute force martial arts which was used so successfully by the likes of Bruce Lee in the seventies,this movie opted for a softer approach in the form of Wudan. It was like watching a ballet take place during the fight as foes would glide through the air as they battled for supremacy.

The one part of the movie that I wasn’t too keen on was the romantic angle between Jen Yu and outcast Dark Cloud. While both actors involved displayed some wonderful acting I just didn’t like where the story was going as I found myself enjoying the movie more when it was focused on Li Mu Bai and his conquest to retrieve his stolen sword and seek revenge against his masters killer. For me that was a much more intriguing story that had far more action involved and the romantic angle didn’t feel totally necessary.

Overall, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a wonderfully produced movie which had some great visuals and majestic fight sequences. A little more focus on certain aspects of the story would’ve helped me enjoy the movie more but I enjoyed it throughly regardless. Would certainly recommend checking this movie out if you haven’t done so already.

8/10

One thought on “Movie Review: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

  1. I remember the first time I saw this at a theater and at the very beginning of the first fight sequence, I thought, “Are these people great acrobats or are they on wires? I mean this is….oh…no…it’s wires….nevermind.” I agree with you on the love angle, keep it, but cut 10 minutes of it. The movie runs a little long. There are also a few too many coincidences in the movie surrounding Jen being in the right place at the right time. I think 8/10 is accurate

    Liked by 1 person

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