Writer: John Fusco (Screenplay) Du Lu Wang (Book)
Starring: Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh, Harry Shum Jr, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Jason Scott Lee, Eugenia Yuan, Roger Yuan
Plot: A story of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption.
Tagline – The past returns with a vengeance.
Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Entertaining Sequel
Story: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny starts 18-years after Yu (Yeoh) saw her love die returns to safeguard the sword of destiny, after a warlord Hades Dai (Lee) goes in search for the sword believing it will give him the power to conquer the land.
Needing to protect the sword, Yu puts out a call for warriors to come and help defend it, which sees Silent Wolf (Yen) put together a five-person army, while Yu takes on a new student Snow Vase (Bordizzo) with skills advanced of her age.
Thoughts on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny
Characters – Yu has returned from her isolation and mourning after 18-years away only to stumble into the next attempt to steal the Sword of Destiny, here she must learn who to trust, reunite with an old ally and put herself in the teaching position. Silent Wolf has lived a life in isolation, where his loved ones believed him to be dead, he returns to help defend the sword for the greatest honour in his life. Wei Fang is a young warrior that is being forced into stealing the sword to protect his master, he learns about his past and along with Snow Vase who also has a decision of her own to make, provide the unsure future for Yu on who to trust. Snow Vase is the talented young fighter knowing skills beyond her age, she askes to be taught even if she isn’t as disciplined as she should be.
Performances – Michelle Yeoh returns to this role, she brings the fight skills that made the first one fantastic and must play the role with an emotionless feeling of being broken, which she does with ease. Donnie Yen takes up the mysterious fighter role which is a role that he could take any day and never look out of place. it is the new comers that impress in the fighting side of things, where they struggle in places with the emotional factors at play in their characters.
Story – The story here returns Yu back to the land she once fought for, where she must defend it from a new warlord that wants the sword which could bring power to control the land. This is a sequel that does well to return one of the favourites which also dives into her past to bring a new character, while also offer people that could become the new leads if the series was going to continue. When we break down the story it does play into tradition of being loyal and honour. It would have been nice to see more from the villain which only has a few moments which are just generic villain style, without seeing him do anything truly villainous.
Action/Fantasy – The action in the film is the martial arts material we have enjoyed for years, we have the weightless effects which were famous from the first which add the style required to be unique. This does play into the fantasy of the action which goes against the physics of fighting.
Settings – The film brings back the settings we knew and still look fantastic, with the final showdown being in a new location which is used to add to the fight.
Special Effects – The effects are used to make the fights feel like they could be real, the weightless style is the best part of the fights.
Final Thoughts – This is a fun sequel to a much more superior original, it will entertain without being anywhere near the level original.
Overall: Entertaining for the fans.