Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Director: Ang Lee
Sony Pictures Classics; PG-13; 120 minutes
Release: 12/00
Cast: Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Zi-Yi

If you can successfully suspend belief, then you're doing all right. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon offers roughly a half-hour of breathtakingly beautiful adrenaline-infused fight scenes that continually defy gravity. Director Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm) is no stranger to social weight, however, and fills this martial arts epic with large-scale love, philosophical underpinning, and a strong emphasis on the female fighters.

Chow Yun Fat (Anna and the King) plays the lead; Michelle Yeoh (Tomorrow Never Dies) is his lover, and her main combatant is a sword-wielding young woman who escapes parental overprotection by seeking adventure at night. Yuen Wo-Ping, best known for his fight choreographies in The Matrix, contributes his unmistakable touch. The fight scenes are grand, and well aware of their hilarious excitement.

This movie will delight newcomers and dazzle long-term martial arts fans. By attaching deeper dramatic elements to the characters and their frequent battles, Ang Lee has created a winning combination that reaches out across the genre.

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