Tiger, Hidden Dragon"
|By Mira Harber
Director Ang Lee's new movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
opens on Dec. 22 at the North Park Theatre. It is without a doubt
the best action movie I have ever seen - it gives action movies a new meaning!
This film is like a cross between a Bruce Lee action fest & a Jane
Austen novel. How is that possible?
Consider the stars. Chow Yun Fat is China's leading action star. He is
tall, dark and handsome and deadly to boot. He is the Chinese Cary Grant.
In this movie he plays the owner of a sword so famous that it even has
a name "Green Destiny." With the sword stolen & his master murdered,
we have the plot - recover the sword & avenge his masters murder. In
addition, his love interest is played by the number one female Chinese
action star, Michelle Yeoh. (Ms. Yeoh was the female lead one James Bond
movie ago.) They play two people very much in love, who have yet to declare
their love. They share a long and deep history, and now they have a joint
mission involving not only recovering the Green Destiny, but in resolving
their own destinies. To round out the story add a young apprentice thief
& pair of star-crossed lovers.
What is so remarkable about this movie? Granted that it has an interesting
plot and great stars. What makes this movie so outstanding are the 'fight
scenes.' This movie was choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping, the man responsible
for choreography the action in The Matrix. The action scenes
in this movie are nothing short of sensational. When the famous sword is
first stolen and the thief about to be captured, suddenly the thief runs
- up the wall and over rooftops, at night, by moonlight, to disappear into
the night. This can't be - except that we saw it with our own eyes.
Scene after eye-popping scene confound & delight our senses. A battle
takes place between the mystery, newcomer thief and the master - on the
top of a forest of gently swaying, graceful slim trees - all this while
they battle with swords! It is an absolutely unforgettable picture - trees
swaying back & forth, hero & villain enmeshed in a life & death
sword battle - on tree-top! This is one of the most visually amazing and
beautiful action scenes ever to be seen on screen.
The action movie genre has been re-defined with this film. It raises the
bar so high that it takes action films to a new place. This movie has it
all. Great story, big operatic themes, fabulous, beautiful action stars,
heartbreak, murder, revenge & redemption. Run, don't walk to the theater
to see this movie. It is one of the top 10 films of 2000, and one of the
best action movies ever.