Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
12

When Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) has his famous jade sword presented to Governor Yu, he hopes it marks the end of his violent career. But soon the sword is stolen and the murderer of his mentor appears to be back.

You may never see a more beautiful movie - and certainly no more majestic film has yet been made. In a bizarre way it's reminiscent of Woody Allen's "Manhattan", where the visuals are so striking as to flood your mind.

It's impossible to forget, either, and you will find yourself weeks later dwelling on individual shots with the intensity you might pay to a painting.

A scene with warrior monks, for instance, balanced on the frond-thin branches of a tree high, high in the air is utterly convincing and even - no kidding here - mesmerising. And yet while a single shot can be so marvellous as to make your jaw go down and your eyebrows go up, often director Ang Lee will linger on them too long.

Suddenly the beautiful can seem to be the very silly indeed. And the fall that was so startling becomes just another startling fall in what feels like a very long story.

You have to see it - it's a reaffirmation of spectacle and the beauty of cinematography - and you have to see it on the big screen. Even DVD is not going to do this justice.

But don't expect to be caught up in the slight story. Lee's tried to tell it in a Chinese style, and it's great that he's done so, but the effect is that the story wears you down rather than engrosses.

Read a review of the DVD.

Read an interview with "Crouching Tiger" director Ang Lee.

Read an interview with "Crouching Tiger" star Michelle Yeoh.

Read an interview with "Crouching Tiger" co-writer James Schamus.

Will "Crouching Tiger" increase the popularity of foreign language cinema?

See what director Ang Lee had to say about his film when it was previewed at the 44th London Film Festival.

Visit the official website for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".

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End Credits

Director: Ang Lee

Writer: Hui-Ling Wang, James Schamus, Du Lu Wang

Stars: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Adventure

Length: 120 minutes

Original: 2000

Cinema: 5 January 2001

DVD: 18 June 2001

Country: China/Taiwan/US

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