During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense.
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
Miramax originally acquired the U.S. distribution rights in 2002 after the film's huge success in Asia. However, the film did not receive its U.S. theatrical release until 2004. Before the release of the official U.S. version, the film gained a cult following in the States via "official" copies of the DVD from other countries. See more »
(at around 23 mins) The number and position of arrows around the calligraphy school master changes. See more »
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.
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After two viewings, I am still not sure what to make of this film, story-wise. I have no problems exalting praise for the cinematography which, for many people, was the drawing point. It's what got me to watch the movie. I had heard it was the most beautiful film ever made. Well, I wouldn't go that far, but it IS visually spectacular. It's even more appreciated now that I watched one of the documentaries in which I learned to what great lengths director Yimou Zhang the crew went to, to make this look so good. It took a lot of patience, waiting for just the right conditions, such as the smooth, silvery lake which only was calm two hours a day.
Overall, I didn't think the story was that appealing except for the good message at the end, about the good of all being more important than satisfying one's personal vengeance. Well, who could argue with that? As for the rest, perhaps being a Westerner unfamiliar with Eastern culture, it's harder for me to relate to the mind-set. I would be interested to know how Asians viewed this story, as opposed to similar films.
Sometimes I think these wild Crouching Tiger-like action scenes are too long and overdone, but at least in this film they were very original and, once again, more visuals feasts than anything else. On my second viewing, I discarded the subtitles and went with the dubbed version to concentrate more on the stunning look of this film. It paid off. Even if I don't quite follow everything, each scene is such eye-candy that you can't go wrong viewing this.
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