House of Flying Daggers
Genre: Action & Adventure    Year: 2004    Country:
IMDB Rating: 4.0 (321 votes)
Director: Zhang Yimou    Studio: Sony Pictures
Starring: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, Ziyi Zhang
Summary: No one uses color like Chinese director Zhang Yimou--movies like "Raise the Red Lantern" or "Hero", though different in tone and subject matter, are drenched in rich, luscious shades of red, blue, yellow, and green. "House of Flying Daggers" is no exception; if they weren't choreographed with such vigorous imagination, the spectacular action sequences would seem little more than an excuse for vivid hues rippling across the screen. Government officers Leo and Jin (Asian superstars Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro) set out to destroy an underground rebellion called the House of Flying Daggers (named for their weapon of choice, a curved blade that swoops through the air like a boomerang). Their only chance to find the rebels is a blind women named Mei (Ziyi Zhang, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") who has some lethal kung fu moves of her own. In the guise of an aspiring rebel, Jin escorts Mei through gorgeous forests and fields that become bloody battlegrounds as soldiers try to kill them both. While arrows and spears of bamboo fly through the air, Mei, Jin, and Leo turn against each other in surprising ways, driven by passion and honor. Zhang's previous action/art film, "Hero", sometimes sacrificed momentum for sheer visual beauty; "House of Flying Daggers" finds a more muscular balance of aesthetic splendor and dazzling swordplay. "--Bret Fetzer"