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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2306)

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ( Wo hu cang long ) 
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" by Yojimbo
3.5/4 stars

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one of those very few films that revolutionized a genre. The first film to gain mainstream popularity for the Asian martial arts epic with western audiences, it's a beautiful marriage of art house sensibilities and crowd pleasing action. It concerns a young woman whose desire for adventure has seen her come under the wing of a ruthless criminal named Jade Fox who betrayed and murdered the master of swordsman Chow Yun Fat. He and unrequited love Michelle Yeoh see the good in her and so try to persuade her to join them rather than fight, but fate has a different path in store. Boasting the epic scope and beautiful cinematography of the likes of David Lean combined with elegant wire work and brilliantly choreographed fight sequences, Crouching Tiger is popular entertainment at its most refined. The intertwining of not one but two moving tales of love, as well as revenge and redemption walks the line between pretension and sentimentality while descending into neither and has a philosophical tone that's never preachy or dull. It's an enchanting film complimented perfectly by a gorgeous soundtrack that fully deserves its reputation as a ground breaker and makes every martial arts film that preceded it look artless and crude by comparison.


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