Sunday, 13 July 2008

Hero (2002)

Hero is one of the films that have become something like the 'new wave' of Kung Fu movies - intelligent plot, beautifully filmed, breathtaking martial arts, astonishing special effects, women who kick major ass (which is something that has been far too rare in much of this genre), and - last but not least - cinema distribution here in Europe.

Hero has a plot that twists and turns in a most intriguing way, and I won't say anything more about it than that it's about an assassination plot on the king of an agressor state. (If you've seen the film already and are interested in what I have to say about the ending, click here.)

Martial arts:
There are no adjectives that would do it justice. That is, unless you prefer your martial arts to be at least a *little* bit realistic. There is plenty of serious Kung Fu magic, not least in the lake scene.

None. The two female characters are in no way stereotypical. Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung) kicks just as much ass as Nameless (Jet Li), Broken Sword (Tony Leung), and Sky (Donnie Yen). Moon (Zhang Ziyi) is young and no match to the older four, but she still kicks ass.

Hunk factor:
Nameless is übercool and almost emotionless, as he has devoted his whole existence to his cause. At the king's palace, the guards take off his clothes to check him for weapons and stuff - 'nuff said ...