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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny

Date:From Feb 19, 2016

2016-02-16

Rating on IMDB: 7.5/10

This costume action movie is adapted from the martial arts novel by Wang Dulu. Chinalrous lady Yu Xiulian reappears and tries to defend the sword with the help of Swordsman Meng Sizhao. Director Woo-Ping Yuen says that he wants the audience to experience sincere feelings and simple sentiments of the movie. The film presents IMAX/3D version.

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Director: Woo-Ping Yuen
Writers: Du Lu Wang (book), John Fusco (screenplay)
Stars: Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh, Harry Shum Jr. 
Genres: Action | Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
Country: USA
Language: English
Release Date: 19 February 2016 (China) 
Also Known As: Wo hu cang long 2: Qing ming bao jian 
Filming Locations: New Zealand 

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A worthy sequel that may surprise even the worst of critics, the true meaning of "Wu Xia" exemplified

by Tiger Heng from Singapore

I caught the movie in Hong Kong on 21st of February, the 96 minutes version dubbed in Cantonese. Truth to be told, my expectations were very low, because the original was just a classic. The first bad trailer with weird auto-tuned music and English dialogue did not help. But the results surprised me. If you have the chance, watch it in English! =)

Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company finally got the rights to CTHD, and proceeded to work on a script based on Wang Du Lu's 5th book of the series. Iron Knight, Silver Vase, which are actually the names of 2 of the main characters in the movie (just like Crouching "Tiger" and Hidden "Dragon" 2000 the title itself). 

The director here is Yuen Woo Ping, best known for his choreography work in Ip Man 3, Matrix and of course the first CTHD. He is also a good director on his own, with critical successful films such as Wing Chun and Iron Monkey. According to interviews, Ang Lee did not want to come back for the sequel because he never does a "repeat" work, but he met up with Yuen Woo Ping and gave him his blessings because he knew that if there was anyone who could helm the sequel, it would be the person he worked the closest with in the first movie, Yuen Woo Ping himself.

The story in this movie is more simple and straightforward (sometimes predictable), and perhaps not as good as the first movie hence this is where a point is deducted.

However cinematography and costume wise, it is on par, if not better than the original. Landscapes of New Zealand and China, and the beauty of nature are better capture than the original, and the elaborated costumes are noteworthy. 

Action wise, it is a huge step up, perhaps because of the casting of Martial Arts Kingpin Donnie Yen himself, who has a strong martial arts background compared to Chow Yun Fatt who needed plenty of stunt doubles and still did not look fluid in his sword-wield or movements(it was reported that Jet Li rejected the first film hence it went to Fatt). The action sequences makes it a combination of not just a Wu-Xia film but a Kung Fu film because there is now less "flying-around" or wire-work but more realistic martial arts display by Donnie Yen. Donnie Yen's performance and presence in the film is spectacular, and it makes people want to see more of him after his appearance.

Michelle Yeoh remained in character and is impressive in both the acting and the action department, huge thumbs up for her but unfortunately her performance seems to be slightly overshadowed (surprisingly) by new-comer Natasha Liu Bordizzo who plays Snow Vase. 

Harry Shum Junior actually looks good in this movie in fight scenes due to his tremendous Dance Background and pedigree.

As for the English Language spoken on the Netflix version(not here in Hong Kong), I think it is a good move because The Weinstein Company and Netflix they want to show the movie to the whole world, hoping to reach audiences who will never ever watch a swordsmen or Wu Xia movie in their lives. There are many people in the world who will never watch a movie because they hate reading subtitles. 

And also because people in China hated the first movie and it flopped and one of the reason is because of Chow Yun Fatt's Cantonese accent and Michelle Yeoh had Malaysian accent in their mandarin dialogue, so please try and understand instead of claiming it should be in Mandarin, the original got mocked because of the bad mandarin accents.

Overall a very enjoyable movie, which really needs heart to appreciate, it may be slow at times but it truly allows audiences to be observant and to look at the minor details in such a major motion picture.

It would be even better if one already read the original book by Wang Du Lu or the new novel by Justin Hill, as it covers more motivations and intentions clearly.

Therefore, do not just view this as a sequel to one of the most successful Wu-Xia films ever made, appreciate this movie and take it as a film of its own, and you will enjoy it thoroughly.


A disappointment after all these years, but a good watch nevertheless

By Marloges from Germany


As a fan of the original movie I was really looking forward to the sequel. Of course the fact that Ang Lee wasn't directing it made me sceptical, but I thought I should give it a chance. Turns out that the movie pales in comparison to it's predecessor in terms of fighting choreography and story.

BUT the visuals were pretty good, the film looks pretty fantasy-like (which could be a turn-on or turn-off for some people) and the movie had some great fights and nice character interactions. The best part about this movie is the return of Michelle Yeoh and also some parts of the original soundtrack which gave me goosebumps at some parts of the movie.

Donnie Yen was also a great addition, though I'd prefer Zhang Ziyi to be a part of it... 

At the end of the day it's a good martial arts movie with stunning fight scenes and a decent plot. Compared to the first movie it's kinda bland, but hey, you can watch it for free if you're a user of Netflix, so that's a plus.

Just don't expect another masterpiece and you might enjoy this.


Where to watch:

Yonghua Cinema http://www.idealshanghai.com/venues/19/

Wanda Cinemas http://www.idealshanghai.com/venues/17420/

Shanghai Film Art Center http://www.idealshanghai.com/venues/21/

Stellar Cinema City http://www.idealshanghai.com/venues/22/

Cathay Theater http://www.idealshanghai.com/venues/2228/





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