ASIANatomy
Pure Asian Entertainment: Film, TV, Anime & Manga

Beware the falling bamboo leaves

  • Nov 17, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+4
The only similarity between this movie and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", is the breathtaking choreography of the aerial combat amongst the bamboo trees. Indeed, the best sequences in "House of Flying Daggers" begin with some quietly and gracefully pirouetting bamboo leaves, falling dramatically towards the lush green forest floor.

Totally different from "Hero" plot wise, the vivid use of color, light and fabric ties the two together, bringing Chinese action movies to an artistic level never before seen on a big or small screen.

Ziyi Zhang as Mei, the blind bombshell, illuminates every frame she's in, proving her capability to carry a major movie on her slim shoulders. Her supporting male leads Takeshi Kaneshiro (Jin) and Andy Lau (Leo) have to work double time just to keep up.

Jin and Leo are Government officers, who are trying to track down the elusive underground rebel group of the title. They suspect that Mei, a blind call girl, can lead them to the rebels' hideout, and decide to use the age old plan of deception and seduction. Handsome ladies man Jin gets the plum assignment of gaining Mei's confidence, and from here, the movie turns unexpectedly into a tempestuous love story, the plot twisting this way and that under the power of love.

There are certainly less fight scenes than "Hero", the love scenes are awkward to say the least, and the movie slows considerably in places, but the combination of Ziyi Zhang, the scenic shots and the sword, bamboo and knife play make it an extremely worthwhile way to spend 119 minutes.


Amanda Richards

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More House of Flying Daggers reviews
Quick Tip by . November 10, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
Definitely a lot more entertaining and interesting than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Then again, I'm both a fan of Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau. So, what can I say? ;-) In terms of artistic impression, this one is great! If you're a big fan of Zhang Yimou's movie, this is one of his best. I actually prefer his direction in the Olympics 2008 Opening Ceremony than many of his recent movies!
review by . April 29, 2009
I can't say enough about how perfect this movie was made. It was like the director perfected every still with camera angles, "Matrix" effects, and rich colors. I had previously seen Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Hero and those movies seem like experiments that have led up to this perfection of a movie.     Two police officers are told that they have only a short time (I think it was 10 days) to catch or kill the leader of the Flying Daggers an apparent gang that is the enemy …
review by . October 03, 2006
The very first time I saw this amazing film I was wrapped around its finger. Everything about it is perfect from its scenery to the perfectly paced and executed fight scenes. After the first time you see it the more and more you watch it the more you notice little things that are big. Basically the things that made the film beautiful start to unravel. One thing I hate that I am seeing a lot of is the digital blood, so when someone is hit with one of the daggers it looks computer generated when the …
review by . June 09, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
I can't say enough about how perfect this movie was made. It was like the director perfected every still with camera angles, "Matrix" effects, and rich colors. I had previously seen Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Hero and those movies seem like experiments that have led up to this perfection of a movie.    Two police officers are told that they have only a short time (I think it was 10 days) to catch or kill the leader of the Flying Daggers an apparent gang that is the enemy …
review by . April 25, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Good story telling, beautifully shoot film, outstanding performances.      Cons: Ended too soon.     The Bottom Line: House of Flying Daggers is a visual and emotional treat.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. In the West among the more common folk (and let’s face it, the not-so-common folk as well) China and its vast, long, and proud history, remains a mysterious land wrapped in a shroud …
review by . April 22, 2005
When the neighborhood movie houses seem to have an overwhelming number of martial arts films, both takeoffs on 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' quality and the 'Matrix' clone dalliances, and when the whole concept of mind-boggling flying armed forms threatens to become passé, along comes another film by Yimou Zhang and the atmosphere changes.     Zhang fully understands the choreographic possibilities if this genre of films and surpasses his fellow directors with his sensitivity …
About the reviewer
Amanda Richards ()
I write reviews for a hobby. Most of my reviews are short and to the point, on account of my short attention span. I try to make my reviews both informative and entertaining, and sometimes I succeed. … more
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About this movie

Wiki

House of Flying Daggers (Chinese埋伏pinyinshí miàn mái fú), is a 2004 action-romance filmdirected by Zhang YimouHouse of Flying Daggers differs from other wuxia films in that it is more of a love story than a straight martial arts film.

The use of strong colours is again a signature of Zhang Yimou's work. Several scenes in a bamboo forest completely fill the screen with green. Near the end of the film, a fight scene is set in a blizzard. The actors and blood are greatly highlighted on a whiteout background. Another scene uses bright yellow as a colour theme. The costumes, props, and decorations were taken almost entirely from Chinese paintings of the period, adding authenticity to the look of the film.

The film opened in limited release within the United States on December 3, 2004, in New York and Los Angeles, and opened on additional screens throughout the country two weeks later.

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Details

Director: Zhang Yimou
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: December 3, 2004
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 1hr 59min
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