Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonDecember 22, 2000
Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically-skilled, teenage nobleman's daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.
Release Year: 2000
Rating: 8.0/10 (134,021 voted)
Critic's Score: 93/100
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang
The disappearance of a magical jade sword spurs a breathtaking quest for the missing treasure. Li is embittered by the loss of his jade sword, and his unrequited pursuit of Yu is further complicated by the mysterious intrusion of an assassin. The identity of the assassin is gradually unveiled as another poignant tale of love begins to ravel with that of Li and Yu against the backdrop of Western China's magnificent landscape.
Writers: Du Lu Wang, Hui-Ling Wang
Master Li Mu Bai
(as Chow Yun Fat)
Yu Shu Lien
Jen Yu (Mandarin version)
Jiao Long (English dubbed version)
(as Zhang Ziyi)
Lo 'Dark Cloud'
Luo Xiao Hu
(as Cheng Pei-Pei)
Fa Zeng Li
De Ming Wang
Police Inspector Tsai
Prefect Cai Qiu
(as Li Li)
Su Ying Huang
Jin Ting Zhang
Gou Jun Pei
Kinowelt Median AG (german) |
Release Date: 22 December 2000
Filming Locations: Anhui Province, China
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: HKD 7,714,001
(20 July 2000)
(29 July 2001)
Did You Know?
Michelle Yeoh tore her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) during the shooting of an early fighting sequence and had to be flown to the U.S. for knee surgery. She returned to the set at different times to film non-action scenes until the knee had recovered.
During the fight between Yu Shu Lien and Xiou Long many floor tiles are smashed by Shu Lien. After Shu Lien discards her heavy metal weapon and continues to fight, the tiles appear repaired.
Master Li is here! Master Li is here!
Beware of cheap imitations
Crouching Tiger is Ang Lee's take on the Wu Xia tradition of film
making. Wu Xia, for those not familiar with the style, evolved out of
popular Chinese fiction. It contains formulaic elements such as
honourable warriors, powerful swordswomen, powerful swords, and often
magic and mythical beasts. Possibly, it has a parallel with sword and
sorcery pulp literature and even Western romances.
Although he grew up in Taiwan, not Hong Kong or China, Ang Lee has said
he has always wanted to make a Wu Xia film. When he did, he brought
sophistication and strong production values which, while not uncommon
in mainstream Chinese cinema, was less common in the martial arts or Wu
Make no mistake; Crouching Tiger is a beautiful, beautiful movie. The
colours are rich, the light dances and the movements are balletic. But
unlike lesser imitations, such as Hero, it is much more than that just
stylish production and mesmerising action.
Most films (Western or Eastern) have a rigid plot against which
characters move. At worst the characters become ciphers; they advance
the story by making choices regardless of whether these choices are in
keeping with their character. Crouching Tiger, like the best of cinema,
has dynamic characters whose internal struggles advance the plot. The
dog wags the tail, not the other way around.
At the heart of Crouching Tiger is the relationship between Li Mu Bai
(Chow Yun-Fat) and Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh). Mu Bai is looking for a
way out of the Gang Ho (Warrior) lifestyle he joins a monastery, as a
route to enlightenment and peace, but cannot cast aside his unrequited
love for Shu Lien (another warrior). On the brink of declaring their
love for one another, Mu Bai's Green Destiny Sword is stolen, and his
arch enemy returns. He must temporarily put aside his feelings to
recover the sword and bring his master's killer to justice Seeming to
take a fair chunk from his previously directorial role, Sense and
Sensibility, Ang Lee weaves a story which tragically juxtaposes the
loving and giving but repressed relationship of Mu Bai and Shu Lien,
with the fiery, wilful and destructive passions of Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi)
and Lo (Chang Chen). The result, for me, was breathtaking.
Some critics have suggested that the characterisation is quite slight.
I think this just demonstrates the high standard to which they were
prepared to judge this film. Ang Lee perfectly marries action/adventure
with drama. The results may not please purists from either camp, but
for the rest of the audience it is pure magic.
In many ways, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is pure Wu Xia. But it has
also re-invented the genre and given it artistic credibility. The
greatest joy of the film is watching great Hong Kong stars like Chow
Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh being given characters with depth and
watching them fill the screen with their performances. The film also
benefits from great performances from Zhang Ziyi and a very under-rated
Quite simply, Crouching Tiger has everything. It is beautiful,
breathtaking and deeply moving. 9½ /10