House of Flying Daggers

House of Flying Daggers

Zhang Yimou (2004)

114min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Hero director Zhang Yimou returns to the swordfighting genre with this visually ravishing and artfully directed martial arts drama. In the year 859, the declining Tang dynasty faces revolt from a secret, "Robin Hood and his Merry Men"-like society known as the House of Flying Daggers. Can all-singing, all-dancing, blind knife-throwing showgirl Mei (Zhang Ziyi) guide undercover policeman Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) to their mysterious new leader? The film's stand-out sequences include the quite amazing "Echo Dance" - a routine involving scarves, drums and ricocheting beans - and a lush green bamboo-forest showdown. But these early highlights are never quite equalled, as too many drawn-out climaxes and a tepid romantic subplot proceed to bog it down. However, Zhang Yimou's masterful panache, poetic finesse and gravity-bending fight choreography are a continual delight, even if Zhang Ziyi's acrobatic femme fatale steals the entire show.

Summary

Two imperial officers are sent to find the head of a rebel group, which threatens to destroy the Tang dynasty's tenuous grip on power. Their search leads the duo to a beautiful blind dancer, who they hope will take them to the mysterious and influential figure - but matters soon take an unexpected turn. Romantic period martial arts adventure from director Zhang Yimou, starring Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau and Song Dandan. In Mandarin.

Cast & Crew

Mei Zhang Ziyi
Jin Takeshi Kaneshiro
Leo Andy Lau
Yee Song Dandan
Actor Hongfei Zhao
Actor Jun Guo
Actor Shu Zhang
Actor Jiusheng Wang
Director Zhang Yimou
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Other Information

Language: Mandarin +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: PathéGuidance: Violence. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 26 Dec 2004
Drama