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Quentin Tarantino Presents: Hero [DVD] [2004]

Price: £3.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Quentin Tarantino Presents: Hero [DVD] [2004] + House Of Flying Daggers [2004] [DVD] + Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [DVD] [2001]
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Product details

  • Actors: Jet Li, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ziyi Zhang, Donnie Yen
  • Directors: Yimou Zhang
  • Writers: Yimou Zhang, Bin Wang, Feng Li
  • Producers: Philip Lee, Shoufang Dou, Sook Yhun, Weiping Zhang
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Feb 2005
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006FREJE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,600 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Sweeping and sumptuously-shot martial arts action film in the vein of Ang Lee's 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'. In Ancient China, the Emperor of the northern province of Qin (Daoming Chen) is under constant threat of assassination attempts. Three assassins in particular are the cause of much fear in the palace: Broken Sword (Tony Leung Chiu Wai), Sky (Donnie Yen) and Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung). When a minor local official (Jet Li) comes to the palace to relay the information that he has managed to overcome the three adversaries, the Emperor invites him to tell the story of his incredible victory.


Director Zhang Yimou brings the sumptuous visual style of his previous films (Raise the Red Lantern, Shanghai Triad) to the high-kicking kung fu genre. A nameless warrior (Jet Li, Romeo Must Die, Once Upon a Time in China) arrives at an emperor's palace with three weapons, each belonging to a famous assassin who had sworn to kill the emperor. As the nameless man spins out his story--and the emperor presents his own interpretation of what might really have happened--each episode is drenched in red, blue, white or another dominant color. Hero combines sweeping cinematography and superb performances from the cream of the Hong Kong cinema (Maggie Cheung, Irma Vep, Comrades: Almost a Love Story; Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, In the Mood for Love, Hard Boiled; and Zhang Ziyi, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The result is stunning, a dazzling action movie with an emotional richness that deepens with every step. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Ramos on 5 Oct 2007
Format: DVD
Director Zhan Yimou is a great director of drama. But he has never directed an action film before. So I went into this with some trepidation. But he has shown with 'Hero', that he is an overall great director. This movie was very well cast and directed.

Jet Li plays a nameless warrior who presents to the Emperor of Qin the weapons of the three greatest assassins. All of who had sworn to kill him. We are taken on a trip through the stories of the Nameless and how he killed the three assassins. And then once again when the emperor tells us his interpretation of what he perceives happen. Ever perception of the story has its on emotions, visually displayed by its own primary color. The filming is also epic; they were able to use the Chinese army to fill in as extras for the emperor's army.

The conflict shows us the emotions involved with what that emperor was trying to do; unite the seven provinces under one rule. It does delve into both side's reasons and how one person's assassin is another's hero. And what we learn is both sides of any conflict have its heroes. But the main theme this movie tries to get across is that it is a great hero who thinks of his land before his own desires.

For the martial artist we are treated to Jet Li and Donnie Yen fighting each other. It is a wonderful fight. And I hope we do not have to wait years to see them paired up again. This fight alone is worth watching the movie for.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. J. Underwood on 10 Aug 2006
Format: DVD
A foreign-language film with subtitles becoming No1 at the American box-office? Impossible, you may feel, but Hero managed it. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon had opened up a new market for Western audiences, and Hero was one of many films to benefit.

The plot? A lowly official (Jet-Li) is brought before the Emperor to be rewarded for killing three martial-arts experts who had previously attempted to assassinate the ruler; Sky (Donnie Yen), Broken Sword (Tony Leung) and Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung). The Emperor invites him to describe just how he managed to kill all three when his own army had failed. We then see in flashback the fights that took place, but the Emperor is dissatisfied with the explanation and offers his own interpretation...

This film is a visual work of art. The style is like to Crouching Tiger in that the abilities of the characters are beyond reality - they can fly through the air and walk on water - a wuxia film, but this has been taken to epic proportions - including using the Chinese Army as extras firing thousands of arrows into the sky! Colour is of particular importance here - as most of the fights are shown in flashback and are revisited to show another perspective, the characters and scenery are colour-coded and change with each version. The soundtrack too, from Tan Dun and Itzhak Perlman, is very haunting and memorable.

The director went on to direct House of Flying Daggers after this which is also a visual treat. That film seems to get more attention but out of the two, whilst I like them both, I would actually put this one first as, to me, Daggers seems to run out about two-thirds through whereas the non-linear narrative in this film keeps the interest in the story going. Try it and see.

Finally, in this edition, you can select to watch a dubbed version - instead of with subtitles if they're not your thing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Trevsuki on 22 Mar 2007
Format: DVD
I have seen Hero several several times since its release even outside of Europe, and never do I tire of it, always there is something new for me and always does it succeed in captivating my emotion - so much so I feel a few words are due in praise of it.

A man, Nameless, is summonned before the emporer of Qin to explain how he managed to kill three of the most wanted assassins in the lands. Through questions intermingled with some of the most beautifully choreographed fighting scenes, the truth is slowly revealed like a flower blossoming in the moonlight.

As the viewer, you are taken on a journey to see how Nameless came to be before the emporer through vivacious settings that are so incredible you will want to almost reach out and touch them - be thankful it isn't in HD or you would probably get fingerprints over the screen.

The fusion of genres, romance, action, drama, is so perfectly executed it suceeds wholly in absorbing you in to its' world. Indeed, when watching it I don't even notice the time. This is not a film you will watch and think 'I could use a break right now' - on that note make sure you don't need the toilet beforehand. Adding to this, the sounds (and by sounds I mean the effects, ambient etc.) are so flawless in managing to captivate you in to thier domain, that when there is rain in the film you will be forgiven if you go to grab your umbrella.

As much as this film is incredible, there are some tiny flaws which are quite unfortunate, one of which significant enough to mention.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 21 Nov 2007
Format: DVD
Hero genuinely impressed me, much to my surprise - I'm not a fan of the humourlessly one-note Jet Li, who has always struck me as a character from Mystery Men who didn't make the final cut (useless `super' power - the ability to wave a flagpole around very, very fast) and after all the fuss made over the tedious, overlong and undernourished Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was expecting the Western critical praise to translate into another tired and overfamiliar movie that appealed mainly to people who hadn't seen much Eastern cinema. Boy, was I wrong. A gorgeous looking epic with a real sense of scale and amazing visuals allied to a complex plot, I was kicking myself for not seeing this one on the big screen. Not everything is successful (the duel on the lake never quite works), but more than enough is to guarantee repeat viewings. Li's limitations are used well for once and while Ziyi Zhang's petulant acting still doesn't entirely convince me, it's surprising to find the weakest performance coming from the film's best actor, Tony Leung Chiu Wai. Never at his most convincing in fantasy swordplay movies (the introspective Ashes of Time excepted), he seems a little underpowered for such an iconic role. But these are minor quibbles with a major delight.
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