Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ★★★★★
6.35-9.00pm Sony Movie Channel
As martial arts movies go, this is about as good as they get – an epic yarn set in China in 1779. It was directed by Ang Lee and immediately propelled him into the top rank of film-makers. Chow Yun-fat, a renowned swordsman, asks Michelle Yeoh, a female warrior and bodyguard, to present his legendary sword “Green Destiny” to a mutual friend. And that’s when the trouble begins. Many people want this sword, among them another woman, the ambitious and murderous Cheng Pei Pei. As competing parties vie for possession of Green Destiny the action develops thick and fast. There’s a superb sword fight in an inn where a nobleman’s adolescent daughter defeats a mob of thugs and another against Zhang Ziyi high in the branches of swaying bamboo trees. But this is not just an action movie – it’s a thoughtful drama with intelligent subplots.
For more of today’s free-to-air films, see our TV listings