Ain't It Cool News' review of CTHD #1

Review by 'Champagne 2000'

It is in a very crowded theatre that was presented on Monday the new film from Ang Lee. Indeed, there was a good reason to be impatient for it as it proposes us the meeting of two of the biggest stars in Asian cinema : Chow Yun Fat and Michele Yeoh, all of this with the photo director from THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR and the fight co-ordinator Yen Wo Ping. The film follows the martial arts legend Li Mu Bai ( Chow Yun Fat ) who decides to give his sword ("destiny") to the Emperor Tse. Yu Shu Lien (Michele Yeoh ) is in charge of this mission and things will go wrong as the sword will be stolen...

The actors : Michele Yeoh gives us probably one of her greatest performances. You just have to see her with Chow Yun Fat on the screen; these two actors shine just by their presence. Also, there's Zhang Ziyi, a young actress that everyone should soon try to get. The direction : for the romanticism, you find the same Ang Lee than in SENSE & SENSIBILITY. The director alternates with a lot of ease fight sequences and romantic scenes in which he takes time to develop the psychology of the characters. Fights are new for him of course and he's very good at it by showing the technical side. Then the fights seem very fluid. Ang Lee does not hesitate to leave a 15 seconds shot on feet to show the extreme virtuosity of the fighters. In a word, this film mixes the best from martial arts films (fights in the air, on walls, in trees) and the best from romantic films (the last 15 minutes is the most beautiful since TITANIC).

Great film !!