Martial arts action-drama from Chinese director Zhang Yimou. Leo (Andy Lau) and Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) have been given the task of ferreting out the leaders of a revolutionary faction known as the Flying Daggers. Jin arrives in disguise at a brothel, where the members are allegedly working and is introduced to a beautiful blind dancer named Mei (Zhang Ziyi). But when Jin drunkenly attempts to have his way with her, Leo is forced to intervene and, after gaining her trust, arrests her and informs her that she'll be tortured if she doesn't tell all she knows about the Flying Daggers.
No one uses colour like Chinese director Zhang Yimou--movies like Raise the Red Lantern
, 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 honour. 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
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.