Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon a.k.a. Wo Hu Cang Long
Positives:In the top 100 best films of all-time.
Negatives:If you hate wire-fu, you'll hate parts of this fantastic movie.
Before there was a Hero and a House Of Flying Daggers there was a Crouching Tiger and a Hidden Dragon.
MAKE A WISH
“Wo Hu Cang Long”, also known as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, is director Ang Lee’s greatest crowning achievement. It came out in 2000 to receive critical acclaim from all four corners of the globe. It managed to snag an impressive total of 4 out of a possible 10 Academy Awards including Best Foreign Film, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. It’s a “must-own” that any serious cinephile should have in their prized collection.
The story begins when our hero, Li Mu Bai, pays a visit to an old travelling companion, Yu Shu Lien (played by the ageless Michelle Yeoh). Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun Fat) is the owner of a priceless sword called The Green Destiny. Mu Bai has been able to make just use of such a weapon for most of his life. But in doing so, he had to sacrifice passion in exchange for meditation and ultimately, love for friendship.
He then proceeds to enlist Shu Lien‘s aid in an effort to get rid of the famed Green Destiny sword in high hopes that it will bring him peace and finally give him a chance at real happiness. And so, The Green Destiny is shipped to the residence of Sir Te, a trust-worthy Beijing resident.
It’s at that point that the story introduces us to the remaining characters. Jen Yu (Mandarin version) / Jiao Long (English version) is played by Zhang Ziyi. She is the impetuous and ill-tempered daughter of the newly appointed governor of the region. Her upcoming marriage to a man she’s never met or seen only serves to fuel her burning desire to take matters into her own hands.
Jade Fox (as Cheng Pei-Pei) is Jen Yu‘s governess. At first glance, she seems like a typical elderly woman helping to raise a precocious little girl. But there is so much more than meets the eye with this epic character that it would be downright criminal of me to give too much away. So that’s that for Jade Fox.
And finally, to round up the cast, one can’t forget the enigmatic desert pirate known as Lo ‘Dark Cloud‘ / Luo Xiao Hu (Chen Chang). He spearheads the numerous raids that caravans and merchants must face when crossing the desert. Not traditionally trained in the martial arts, Lo would make a very easy opponent were it not for his acute sense of survival and his larger-than-life chip on his shoulder.
These great characters will clash, clash and clash again until the epic finale. The music, cinematography and costumes are all flawless. 10′s across the board. The acting is ridiculously good. The scale of the story is as grandiose as a Shakespearean tale. You couldn’t ask for more, could you? Oh wait, I almost forgot… How about some of the most intricate, hypnotizing and beautiful martial arts choreographies ever made? Yes, you should wipe the drool off your chin at this point.
So what’s the downside? Nothing, really. To me it’s perfect (and I could give it 100 out of 100, I just acknowledge the fact that not everybody feels the way I do). Perfection is hard to come by. When you come across it, you should celebrate it for what it is: perfection. I’ve had the pleasure of watching around 7000 movie titles since I was born. From the bizarre to the great, and everything in-between, I can safely say that “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is my favourite film of all-time. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to go back and watch it for the very first time all over again…
TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv_ed5VmoD8Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon a.k.a. Wo Hu Cang Long,