Director: Zhang Yimou

2002. English subtitles. Colour. Anamorphic. Dolby digital stereo. 99 mins.

In director Zhang Yimou’s staggeringly beautiful Hero, Jet Li stars as ‘Nameless’, a warrior who may or may not be conspiring against a Qin warlord with the help of his three would-be assassins (played by Donny Yen, Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung). Hero is alive with Chinese history, electri?ed by the dizzying sensuality of its convoluted love triangle and ennobled by its acknowledgement of basic Taoist principles. The spectacular, colour-coded set-pieces suggest that Zhang and ace cinematographer Christopher Doyle are feng shui enthusiasts, and there’s an overwhelming sense that the power of the sword is inextricably linked to the forces of colour and nature. The ?ght scenes are in the style of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon—?oating, soaring, thrusting, deeply poetic—and overall Hero is everything a wu xia movie should be.
Preview courtesy of Buena Vista International (Ireland).

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