Miramax Films presents a film directed by Zhang Yimou. Written by Li Feng, Wang Bin and Zhang Yimou. Running time: 96 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for stylized martial arts violence and a scene of sensuality).


This is the movie that some reviewers call, “The Most Beautiful Movie Ever Made.” Obviously this reviewer has not heard the expression, “Beauty is only skin deep.” That’s not to say that this film lacks depth. It doesn’t. It has gallons of subtext and takes a clever approach at telling this story. However there are films that succeed on multiple levels yet don’t work. This film does not work. Is it beautiful to look at? Yes. Are the fight scenes cool? Some yes, other’s laughable. An interesting note about this film. All the fight scenes are between allies. There is not a scene where the protagonist battles the antagonist. This is unique and I admire the idea, but for one reason or another it just doesn’t work. This film misleads the audience really well, making you believe one thing and peeling another layer back to reveal another version of a possible reality. Not to sound like I’m kicking a movie when it’s down, but Jet Li’s voice just makes me laugh. Not to mention all the grunting in this film. Much like Kevin Klein wailing away in De-Lovely, it was just hysterical.


Many people will tell me that I’m just not a true fan of Martial Arts films. They’d be right. I haven’t seen many, I’ve liked a few, but my favorite is John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China. So I’ll leave you with a tid bit from that classic.


Jack Burton : When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, looks you crooked in the eye and asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol’ Jack Burton always says at a time like that: “Have ya paid your dues, Jack?” “Yessir, the check is in the mail.”


~ by fumikaelson on October 6, 2004.

One Response to “Hero”

  1. This is a great film! you just hate subtitles. Next time I see fumickleson you are going down! to china town! =D

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