Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi
Director: Ang Lee
Running Time: 120 mins
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a Taiwanese film about a young noblewoman who desires to escape from her dull life by taking up arms as a Wudang warrior, although her temper leads her astray.
I think that this is a really overrated film. Sure, it’s got some great action and brilliant special effects, but its story is nowhere near engaging enough across its two hour duration, and it never packs the emotional punch that it needs to to make this something more than a run of the mill martial arts flick.
On the plus side, you can’t deny the excellence of the fight sequences and choreography throughout this movie. Although some of the battles go on a little too long, they’re effortlessly slick and well-crafted, helped by ingenious special effects that add an extra wow factor to the visuals here.
The performances are also pretty decent here. Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh are pretty impressive as the wiser warriors having to fight to defeat the temperamental young noblewoman, played just as excellently by Zhang Ziyi.
However, the story in itself is not consistently engaging enough. Over the course of two hours, visually pleasant fighting and martial arts just isn’t enough to properly interest you, and as a result, this can be quite a dragging film, particularly in the periods when it’s not all about the action, and instead the principal relationships.
That’s one of the main things that just doesn’t sit right in this film. Of course, the writers recognise the importance of making a story away from the fighting, but the emphasis on the two main relationships simply isn’t exciting or captivating in comparison to the action sequences which are moving the film along at a faster pace, leaving this as a somewhat muddled story that can make you lose interest pretty quickly.
Overall, I’ll give this a 6.8, because despite having visually wonderful action, choreography and special effects, this film’s story is not so well crafted and is simply not captivating enough to make an exciting action movie nor an emotional drama.