|HERO DVD WITH SLIPCOVER QUENTIN TARANTINO PRESENTS JET LI DONNIE YEN TONY LEUNG|
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Average review score based on 38 user reviews
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Fans of the martial arts and/or Hong Kong dramas will be delighted with the stellar cast assembled for this magnificent epic. Three top stars from Wong Kar-Wai's dreamy fantasy 2046 are reunited here: Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love) is a standout as the one assassin who realizes the ultimate intent of the hated King of Qin; Maggie Cheung Man-Yak is memorable as his relentless partner who would hound the king to his grave; and the ubiquitous Ziyi Zhang plays the modest yet passionate servant who would kill for her master (Leung). Jet Li stars as the Nameless assassin who enlists the help of the top three assassins in China (Leung, Cheung, and renowned martial artist Donnie Yen) to assist him in dispatching the king once and for all. Nameless spins the king a tale of how he defeated each assassin in order to obtain their hallmark weapons, which he produces during his tale. The king points out the holes in each of Nameless' stories, and the cat and mouse game is spun through several different scenarios in flashback. The story is based loosely on the legendary Jing Ke, the assassin who attempted to murder the King of Qin.
Director Zhang Yimou's sumptuous presentation brings the latest in high-kicking kung fu to the screen, with each flashback memorable for stunning monochromatic visuals, highly anticipated kung fu confrontations, and a story that resounds with a gamut of emotions including undying love, deep-seated hate, ruthless revenge, jealousy, betrayal, and friendship, and culminating in understanding and the ultimate sacrifice. This is considered by many as the ultimate adventure film of the wuxia genre, and should not be missed. Christopher Doyle's lush cinematography, featuring stunning and brightly colored costuming and dizzying scenes of natural splendor, won numerous international awards and recognition, and is one of the most compelling features of the film.
The story has garnered some criticism, especially for the sympathetic portrayal of the King of Qin who ultimately united the middle kingdoms of China under one rule and became China's first emporer. While he was responsible (among other things) for unifying language, systems of weights and measures, and completing the Great Wall of China, he is also known as a brutal, ruthless tyrant.
Hero is a five-star, beautiful, emotional, and visually appealing epic that should not be missed, deserving a spot in every movie libary.
Pros - Advanced kung fu techniques and battle sequences; lush, breathtaking cinematography; emotionally charged plot; top-notch acting by the cream of Hong Kong cinema; haunting and memorable soundtrack; compelling storyline.
Cons - There have been some complaints by viewers that the subtitles go by too fast (not my personal opinion); subtle storytelling may need multiple viewing to fully understand plot; questionable historical perspectives. Those looking for an "action packed" film will undoubtedly be disappointed; the story is a drama with intermittent fight scenes.
Director Zhan Yimou is a great director of drama. But he has never directed an action film before. So I went into this with some trepidation. But he has showm with 'Hero', that he is a overall great director. This movie was very well cast and directed.
Jet Li plays a nameless warrior who presents to the Emperor of Qin the weapons of the three greatest assassins. All of who had sworn to kill him. We are taken on a trip through the stories of the Nameless and how he killed the three assassins. And then once again when the emperor tells us his interpretaion of what he perceives happen. Ever perception of the story has its on emotions, visually displayed by its own primary color. The filiming is also epic, the were able to use the chinese army to fill in as extra's for the emperor's army.
The conflict shows us the emotions invloved with what that emperor was trying to do; unite the seven provinces under one rule. It does delve into both sides reasons and how one persons assassin is another's hero. And what we learn is both sides of any conflict has its heros. But the main theme this movie tries to get across is that it is a great hero who thinks of his land before his own desires.
For the martial artist we are treated to Jet Li and Donnie Yen fighting each other. It is a wounderful fight. And I hope we do not have to wait years to see them paired up again. This fight alone is worth watching the movie for.
Everything other reviews wrote about this film is correct -- except for one glaring omission: the lead actor, Jet Li, is so utterly emotionless as to raise the question, "How can a dead person stand up, let alone walk and talk?"
That is the central problem with this film: at the center of it is a big hole occupied by a totally unemotional and unmoving -- of the viewer -- character named "Nameless". (That name is an excellent choice: the dead don't need names.) Doubtless Li was chosen for the role solely because of name-recognition and reputation as a "martial artist actor". He crossed over from the martial arts field -- he was a multiple-award winner there -- into film in order to do what some might mistake for acting.
Though not impressed by Maggie Cheung's performance in this film (one wouldn't know from it that she's an excellent actress), and Zhang Ziyi is apparently also exploited for name-recognition, and Donnie Yen hasn't sufficient screen time for one to assess his performance, Tony Leung Chiu Wai is excellent as usual, bringing to his performance his usual, convincing emotion and gravitas.
A visually beautiful film it shows off the central weakness of Zhang Yimou's later films: all visuals, acting secondary but necessary in order to present the story, which latter is inconsequential. It may seem on first viewing that the story is rich and complex; others see it as "convoluted," though in fact it is quite straightforward. And one reviewer asserted, in particular, that it is "subtle"; but that is easily accomplished by means of underwriting. (See his "House of Flying Daggers" in which he also succeeds in having his visuals trump story and character to the degree that those are simply excuse for visuaql film which couldn't quite make it without that inconsequential pretense.)
Excellent for the visuals, especially Christopher Doyle's magic; excellent for Tony Leung Chiu Wai's actual acting; and Zhang Ziyi, given a thankless bit role, is her usual beautiful. But don't bother puzzling over the "cipher" that is "Nameless"/Jet Li: the guy can't act; a literal hole at the center of the film which he unfortunately occupies would have been more effective and affecting.
See instead Zhang Yimou's near-perfect balance of gorgeous visuals and minimal story, and wonderful acting -- which succeeds in being rich and complex, with actual subtlety -- that is "The Road HOme". Or see both, and you'll return again and again to "The Road Home".
This film is a historical martial arts movie and is definitely well made. The story is set 2,000 years ago, and Chin(Chen Dao Ming)--wants to unite all of the 7 kingdoms uder his leadership. Three people wish to slay the king but a man (Jet Li) comes to Chin's palace to tell him of the demise of his three enemies, Sky, Broken Sword, and Flying Snow by his skillful hand. When he finishes his tale Chin points out inconsistancies in his tale.It has great visuals, the scenery is scpectacular the music is wonderful and the martial arts are legendary.
This movie is visually stunning and larger than life. Created in a style much like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and sequenced like Kill Bill, we are treated to a story of a nameless assassin (Jet Li) and his vitories over three enemy assassins. Each victory is a lesson in the beauty of tradition held so deeply in Chinese culture, martial arts, and life.
The scale of this movie is intense and each scene with the Qin army (supplemented by Chinese army extras) is amazing. Using the army creates scenes of amazing scale and more intense than those we all know from Braveheart or the Lord of the Rings movies and much more powerful as a result.
The scenery is as beautiful as the fighting, which are more artistic than brital, more about love and passion than anger. Breath-takingly beautiful, the fights are amazing and have you sitting on the edge of your seat. This movie takes story telling and martial arts films to an extraordinary new level and one we can only hope others follow.
The story, relayed by the assassin to his lord leads up to the penultimate final fight to claim revenge for all that has happened to his family and his people at the hand of the lord. You will enjoy this movie greatly for drama, the turns, the beauty and the amazing fights.
If you like the martial arts, you definitely need this in your collection.