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.
The plot follows a captain in the army who is sent in undercover to discover the whereabouts of a rebel group called the house of flying daggers, who rob from the rich to give to the poor. His job is to befriend a suspected member of the house of flying daggers and she will hopefully lead him to their base. The girl is question is a blind girl, who performs at the local entertainment house (played by Ziyi Zhang) The captain at first is true to his mission and wins the girls affection but as the story develops and situations change. He realises his true feeling for the girl, and her for him but an old lover reveals himself and complicates matters, when the girl decides on who she wants to be with, all allegiances break down and there is one final battle in the name of love.
This is truly one of the most beautiful films I have ever had the pleasure to watch, the photography of the scenes, the light, the colour were perfect, a warm glow of pleasure spread through me as I watched some of the scenes. They were also helped by an exceptionally well-chosen and balanced soundtrack, with one song in particular staying through the film most of the way. The visual affect were fantastic and if you didn't know better you may feel like throwing a few knives around at home to see if the might move around objects. Unlike a lot of high action Hollywood films you could really see and tell what was happening in the fight scenes, which were all bar the last drawn-out, fight-to-the-death, spectacular. The film focuses mainly on character development and astonishing scene work rather than plot, as the story itself is frankly very simple with a few twists involved. However, if you enjoy watching films just for the sheer beauty of them, watch this film and you shan't be disappointed.
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