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 of "The General" (I assume he is like the military dictator of the province).
The boss policeman tells the other (Jin) one to pay a visit to a brothel and see if he can find any leads. Jin goes and is told by the madam that they have a new blind girl who has special talents, especially as a dancer. Jin is intrigued and asks to see this girl. It was told that the prior leader of the Flying Daggers had a blind daughter that disappeared. After the girl's performance in dancing, martial arts and swordmanship, Jin and his boss think the girl may be the same blind girl that was the daughter of the Flying Dagger's leader. They arrest her and then threaten her with torture if she doesn't talk.
She is then rescued from her captivity by a masked Jin who helps her escape into the countryside. It turns out that Jin and his boss had the whole thing plotted, whereby Jin would win her confidence and she will lead him to the Flying Daggers.
The more time Jin spends with her, a romance slowly starts to develop, having Jin question what he needs to do and likewise for the girl. The romance is beautiful, and I put it up there with anything I have seen on film. Likewise the fight scenes are far better than either of the two previously mentioned films (there was no need for flying in this film which I hated about the other films). The kicks and punches look like they really land, unlike other films where you can see that they have really missed by six inches.
As the moods of the film change so do the colors and it seems like the seasons too. The movie has a few unresolved points at the end, so I hope it means a sequel will be made.
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!
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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
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 lets 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 … more
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 … more
I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
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.