Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

crouchingDirector: Ang Lee

Writer: Hi-Ling Wang, James Schamus, Kuo Jung Tsai (Screenplay) Du Lu Wang (Book)

Starring: Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang, Chen Chang, Sihung Lung, Pei-Lei Cheng

 

Plot: Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically skilled, adolescent nobleman’s daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Visual Experience

 

Story: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon starts when Master Li Mu Bai (Chow) a warrior turned devoted monk medicates great sorrow leading him to ask Yu Shu Lien (Yeoh) to give up him sword to a trusted friend Sir Te (Lung). Putting the sword in safety Shu Lien meets a young governor’s daughter Jen Yu (Zhang) who dreams of being a warrior like Li Mu Bai and Shun Lien.

When the sword is stolen, it appears the Jade Fox (Cheng) has returned and this bring Master Li Mu Bai out of retirement to avenge his master’s murder at the hands of the Jade Fox. Li Mu Bai and Shu Lien go in search for the sword as the two get to face an enemy they didn’t see coming with powers unlike anything they have fought before, one that can be trained to continue their art of combat in Jen Yu who for now has been led astray by the Jade Fox.

 

Thoughts on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

 

Characters/PerformanceMaster Li Mu Bai is a character that we have come to identify in martial arts films for years, the one who has complete calmness in his action and always in control during combat. It is the two female lead characters Yu Shin Lien and Jen Yu that all reach the next level for the characters in a world that is often male dominated having these two character in a mix of good versus potential evil on Jen Yu is a character that could go either way through the film.

The performances from Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang are both brilliant as they both show their skills in the arts along with the men in this film. Yun-Fat Chow is also great through the film is the male lead at a time when we all wanted a new leading man for the martial arts film.stars

StoryWith the story we dive back into ancient China to see how the beliefs between the people with honour and training could create the moment you needed for peace. We do have an action story in here about how easy it could be to be led astray by the darker side of these abilities as we watch the two heroes of the story try to show the young soon to be master the right path to follow while she is being led astray by the villainous Jade Fox. The story is easy to follow and you can full understand how important it is to have both sides of the story being told to teach Jen Yu the right path.

Action/Adventure/Fantasy/RomanceThe action is unlike anything you would have seen before which is great to see because too many films just copy and paste action together. The romance side of the story is also strong because it tests the characters to push their honour for love with the fantasy coming from how the action is constructed.

SettingsThe breath-taking ancient China setting makes this one of the most visual treats you will see in any film.

Special EffectsWhile mostly practical effects with wires the effects captured between the character’s fight sequences are brilliant through the whole film.genre

Final ThoughtsEasily one of the best martial arts films you will see, based on more than just the fight sequences but the training to make it happen.

 

Overall: Nominated for Best Picture and you can see why it was.

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Hard Boiled (1992)

hardDirector: John Woo

Writer: Barry Wong (Screenplay) John Woo (Story)

Starring: Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Leung, Teresa Mo, Philip Chan, Kwok Chun-Feng, Anthony Wong

 

Plot: A tough-as-nails cop teams up with an undercover agent to shut down a sinister mobster and his crew.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Wow

 

Story: Hard Boiled starts as Inspector Yuen known as Tequila (Chow) is in the middle of a battle between two different sides of the Triads who are struggling for power in the international arms trade. He loses his partner in the latest attempt to bring members of the mobsters down but knows who are the people in play with Mr Hoi (Kwan) and newcomer Johnny Wong (Wong).

As Tequila gets closer to his answers he learns of the mysterious outsider Alan (Leung) who works on the inside of both sides will be Tequila’s best assets when it comes to taking out the mobsters once and for all.

Hard Boiled is an action crime thriller that is just something that leaves you with the feeling of believing the hype. We get non-stop action sequences around the crime story which is easy to follow. The story can come off slightly thin because it is just about cops trying to take down criminals. We don’t get many twists because this is all about the action.

 

Actor Review

 

Yun-Fat Chow: Inspector ‘Tequila’ Yuen has been trying to take down the mobsters for years and when he loses his partner he becomes even more obsessed with stopping them. He is constantly being held up by his superiors that are tired of the body counts each encounter leaves but now he is closer than ever with the help of Alan. Yun-Fat is great in this role as we see an action at his very best.

Tony Leung: Alan is working undercover within the mobs, he is doing the dirty work he shouldn’t be involved with but it is anything to stay undetected by the mobs. He works with Tequila to finally finish his job. Tony is great in this role coming off cooler than the hot headed Tequila.

Teresa Mo: Teresa Chang is the on again off again girlfriend of Tequila, she doesn’t like how much he risks his life if they are to stay together but they do have great chemistry. Teresa is good in this supporting role without doing too much over the top.

Philip Chan: Supt Pang knows both men are trying to take down the same people but isn’t willing to let them know each other, he tries his hardest to control Tequila without much success. Philip does what you would expect for the character of authority in the story.

Support Cast: Hard Boiled has a supporting cast which includes the villains that are very typical for action along with the huge body count of victims in the film.

Director Review: John WooJohn gives us one of the most over the top action films ever with so much fire going on from start to finish all shot with the intensity needed for action.

 

Action: Hard Boiled is filled with the best action sequences you will ever see in film.

Crime: Hard Boiled is a film that is completely about the crime story the cops find themselves in the middle off.

Thriller: Hard Boiled keeps us on edge from start to finish through the story unfolding.

Settings: Hard Boiled uses the setting for added moments through the actions sequences which just adds to everything.
Special Effects
: Hard Boiled has amazing special effects for all of the action sequences.

Suggestion: Hard Boiled is one for all the action fans out there to go and watch. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The Hospital sequences.

Worst Part: Some people will say too much action.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

Tagline: As a cop, he has brains, brawn, and an instinct to kill.

 

Overall: Easily one of the greatest action films of all time.

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