Written on: 14/03/2013 by AMcLeod (15 reviews written)
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was the very first foreign language film I watched as a kid. When I first watched it, I hated the fact that none of them spoke English and that I had to read what they said, but I loved the martial arts action in the film. I recently re-watched it and honestly, it's a lot better than I remembered it. Nowadays I have a much higher appreciation for film in terms of acting, writing and story than I did before when all I cared about was action.
First of all, I'll start with the setting. The time period that it takes place in China is one of the most fascinating and beautiful settings I've seen. The sets for all the buildings, the intricacy's on the clothes, the detail in the weapons and even that scene near the end with the forest are all beautiful and interesting to look at. And a lot of the locations are legitimate which really lends to the feel of beauty to the movie.
The acting is another thing I have to comment on. I have to say the acting for this movie is nearly flawless. Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi really did a fantastic job to make their characters feel alive and real. However, some of the actors playing side characters who's names I cannot remember do seem to be a little over the top and a bit goofy, but that may have been the intention.
Next, there are the action scenes. The action scenes where they fly around and jump around are extremely unrealistic and ridiculous, but I happen to like that sort of thing. I don't know much about Chinese mythology, but if the flying around like that is part of Chinese mythology, then it's much more acceptable in a movie like this. When they aren't flying around though and actually fighting, the action is fast, exciting and excellently choreographed.
There's also the story. The story isn't anything phenomenal, but it's still very well put together. There is a series of multiple story lines throughout the movie. There is the story of Li Mu Bai, a master swordsman who has returned to track down the woman who killed his master. There is Yu Shu Lien, who is a woman in love with Li Mu Bai and is also a master of swordsmanship, who shares a sister like relationship with Jen Yu, the young girl in an arranged marriage who wishes to learn swordsmanship and live on her own with her own independence.
On the last positive note, I have to mention the music. This movie has slow music for it's slow, emotional, romantic moments and fast paced drum music for it's fight scenes. The music really lends to the atmosphere of the film and I could listen to the music by itself for hours on end if I felt like it.
My only problem at least for me is the flashback scene for Zhang Ziyi's characters love interest. Don't get me wrong, it's not a horrible part of the movie and the music is very good along with the desert setting, but I do feel that it drags on rather long and you almost forget about the other characters and think you're watching an entirely different movie all together. You only remember it's a flashback when it ends and it takes place over a big chunk of the movie.
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is an amazing movie with breathtaking locations, amazing music, fast and fun action scenes even though they are unrealistic, great acting and story. However it does suffer from a flashback part of the movie that isn't horrible, but just drags on for a good chunk of the movie. However, if you can get past that, then Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is a movie that any fan of Chinese martial arts movies can appreciate.