Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
IMDB Rating 7.9/10 120 min - Rated 15 Action | Romance
Stars: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi Director: Ang lee
Li Mu Bai (Fat) is a warrior whose sword, the magic Green destiny, is stolen. Li must recover it while avenging the death of his father at the hands of the evil Jade Fox. He is joined in his quest by Yu Shu Lien (Yeoh), the unacknowledged love of his life. ‘Sense and Sensibility with swordfights’ was how screenwriter and stalwart Ang Lee-collaborator James Schammus described the Hong Kong-born director’s foray into martial arts action cinema. Lee’s reputation as a master of finessed psychological dramas (Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, The Ice Storm) and period costume dramas (Sense and Sensibility) did not appear to make him the obvious contender to deliver a kung-fu epic, least of all one in Mandarin Chinese which was to make it to the multiplexes and multi-Oscar acclaim. Set in the mythical Chinese past, Crouching Tiger is a film about honour, betrayal and supernaturally gifted warriors who are able to effortlessly defy gravity. The fight sequences are breathtaking with the actors scaling walls, leaping from roof to roof and, in one memorable scene, literally fighting it out in the tree tops courtesy of Yuen Wo-Ping’s ‘wire-fu’ choreography (which also featured in The Matrix). The actions adds to the film’s richly romantic epic sweep, further enhanced by the commanding preferences of Fat and Yeoh and a swooning score performed by cellist Yo Yo Ma.