7.9/10
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Ying xiong (2002)

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A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors.

Director:

Yimou Zhang

Writers:

Feng Li (screenplay), Yimou Zhang (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,432 ( 117)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 37 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »

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Set in late 19th century Canton this martial arts film depicts the stance taken by the legendary martial arts hero Wong Fei-Hung (1847-1924) against foreign forces' (English, French and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jet Li ... Nameless
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Broken Sword (as Tony Leung Chiu-Wai)
Maggie Cheung ... Flying Snow (as Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk)
Ziyi Zhang ... Moon (as Zhang Ziyi)
Daoming Chen ... King (as Chen Dao Ming)
Donnie Yen ... Sky
Zhongyuan Liu Zhongyuan Liu ... Scholar (as Liu Zhong Yuan)
Tianyong Zheng Tianyong Zheng ... Old Servant (as Zheng Tian Yong)
Yan Qin ... Prime Minister
Chang Xiao Yang Chang Xiao Yang ... General
Yakun Zhang Yakun Zhang ... Commander (as Zhang Ya Kun)
Ma Wen Hua Ma Wen Hua ... Head Eunuch
Jin Ming Jin Ming ... Eunuch
Xu Kuang Hua Xu Kuang Hua ... Pianist
Shou Xin Wang Shou Xin Wang ... Musician
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Storyline

In ancient China, before the reign of the first emperor, warring factions throughout the Six Kingdoms plot to assassinate the most powerful ruler, Qin. When a minor official defeats Qin's three principal enemies, he is summoned to the palace to tell Qin the story of his surprising victory. Written by Yocke

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Kono kuni wa mada, hontô no hero wo shiranai [Japan] (This land doesn't know a real hero. Yet.) See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for stylized martial arts violence and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Miramax [United States]

Country:

China | Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

27 August 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jet Li's Hero See more »

Filming Locations:

Dunhuang, Gansu, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$687,653 (Hong Kong), 27 December 2002, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,004,319, 29 August 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$53,710,019

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$177,394,432
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Director's Cut) | (Theatrical Version)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is the most expensive Chinese movie to date. See more »

Goofs

(at around 23 mins) The number and position of arrows around the calligraphy school master changes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nameless: [voiceover] I was orphaned at a young age and was never given a name. People simply called me Nameless. With no family name to live up to, I devoted myself to the sword. I spent ten years perfecting unique skills as a swordsman. The King of Qin has summoned me to court, for what I have accomplished has astonished the kingdom.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Director's Cut was 107:15 minutes, compared to the theatrical version at 96:23 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Zizek! (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Space
8 September 2004 | by tedgSee all my reviews

Two things interesting about this project. First, the sad news, at least for the Chinese, that the Japanese have finally won. This is a Japanese film in all important respects: the theming by lush color, the rather modern notion of benevolent conquest (genuinely originating in the Persians but only used since as justification for selfish empire, specifically in this case Japanese conquest - and adopted by the Chinese only since the war) and of course the wholesale swallowing of Kurosawa.

Kurosawa is here obviously in the story: it is half 'Rashomon' and half 'Ran.' But more important is Kurosawa's theory of film as a device to capture space. As with Parisian impressionist painters, the thing painted is not the point. It provides an origin only; the painting is about all the magical things that happen in the space between the subject and the viewers eye. The paintings, and Kurosawa's films are about that space.

Kurosawa invented the technique of shooting from very far away with a telephoto so as to flatten space, and at the same time creating (usually three) layers of space. Often, he would engage the space directly.

This masterful film is obsessive about the point and may be the most lush swim in dimensional space you are likely to find with the technology we have. Every shot is oriented around not the action, but the space that contains the action. Falling water, dust, lots of blown fabric and hair, feathers, arrows, even book tablets and those leaves! With lots of bamboo screens, all these are used to show the space, plus the usual fantastic mountains, clouds and forests - even at the end the Great Wall and of course the moving waves of soldiers and courtiers.

Many of the architectural shots are lifted from Welles' "Othello."

The matter is not lost in the copious allusions to mental space: the game of Go, music, calligraphy, politics, and love. All these are defined, exercised and conflated with one another in terms of space and the intrigue of space with a little more effort in the latter items on the list. Then, waving lamps are used to make 'murderous intent' spatial.

Unlike 'Crouching Tiger' which this resembles not at all, the camera is static, not dancing. Where Lee emphasized the ballet of the fight by engaging his camera, Zhang stands back in the space. Where Lee conceives fights not among the participants but their masters, Zhang shows us not the fights, but the battles among the true worlds of the fights - the worlds of different colors.

What we see could be the imaged Go game, or the imaged fight within it, or the imaged story Nameless tells, or the one the King tells and on and on with nestings of imaginations.

Every nation creates their own movie to explain themselves. We in the US seem to like more militarist stuff. Except for the thuggish motive (my war for my kind of peace), we would do well to have stories about stories like this one through four layers until they reflect back on the origin. Complex story space in rich real space.

If you are going to see this, you really must see 'In the Mood for Love,' which features Broken Sword and Flying Snow in something of the same relationship they have here. It is one of the best films ever made and truly spatial in a purely Chinese manner. It will completely transform your enjoyment of this.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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