If you were disappointed a little with Hero, dont let that put you off this movie. I feel Zhang Yimou learnt a lot from Hero, and with House Of Flying Daggers has got to grips with exactly how to make this kind of film.
The 3 main actors are amazing. Just watching Zang Zhiyi perform her dance at the beginning of the film is beauty personified. Total grace yet sudden amazing movements showing hints of her deadly hidden abilities.
Andy Lau, one of my favourite actors, is on top form once again. Starting of as the cool calm senior policeman, then gradually revealing a more darker side as the plot changes.
And Takashi Kaneshiro is perfect as the younger officer, eager to do the job, kind of cocky (not in an annoying Hollywood way though) and like any man unable to resist falling for the gorgeous Zhiyi.
Theres a few little twists, most of which people will say "well that was obvious" but it doesnt matter. This is a truly beautiful film, amazing acting, great fight scenes and ends the only way a Hong Kong movie of this genre could.
I like to compare films to give people some idea what to expect, but I cant really compare this to anything else. It is a martial arts, love story, thriller. Theres a bit of everything in there and for me it all works well.
I went with my girlfriend to see this and she loved it, and was crying when we came out, so theres something in there to keep anyone interested. Unless you enjoy movies like Armageddon, Pearl Harbour and Independence day, I'd suggest giving this a go.
Ive been into Oriental movies now for about a year, the best piece of advise I can give is if its your first experience, persevere with the subtitles. When these films are dubbed you lose 90% of the films emotion and integrity.