Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie features a lot of martial arts battles. Most are bloodless, but one character is killed when a blade is hurtled into his forehead. Major characters are killed, and one death could be interpreted as suicide. Although the women in the movie are treated with complete equality and are equal to or superior to the men in judgement and combat, one female character expresses bitterness that she was not permitted to train as a warrior. There is brief mild language.
What's the story?
Michele Yeoh plays Yu Shu Lien, who runs a company that provides secure transport for shipments of goods to be sold. She is visited by Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun Fat), who has come to give his famous sword to Sir Te, a mutual friend, for safekeeping. Li has been a warrior-hero, using the Green Destiny sword to fight for justice. He is tired of killing and wants to retire to a life of meditation, but instead of enlightenment he has found "endless sorrow," and that "something was pulling me back." He has one unfinished obligation -- to avenge the death of his master at the hands of a villain named Jade Fox. And it may be that there was something else pulling him back, his love, never expressed, for Yu. At the home of Sir Te, Yu meets another guest, the pampered daughter of a governor named Jen Yu (Ziyi Zhang). Jen and Yu each dream of freedom. That night, the sword is stolen. Yu races after the masked thief to get it back. The thief has ties to Jade Fox. And Jen, soon to enter into an arranged marriage, has a secret love, the leader of a pack of desert bandits.
Is it any good?
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON is passionately romantic -- the story of two sets of star-crossed lovers who face enormous obstacles, within themselves as well as those imposed by the outside world. It is a thrilling adventure saga that includes a magical 400-year-old sword called "Green Destiny," a warrior who must avenge the murder of his master, a handsome bandit, the spoiled daughter of a high-ranking official who dreams of the freedom to do what she wants, and the bitter villain who wants to destroy them all. It is dazzling, with breathtaking landscapes, gorgeous costumes, and magnificent cello music played by Yo Yo Ma. And it has, unquestionably, the most brilliantly staged fight scenes ever put on film, possibly the best that ever will be put on film. The fight scenes, staged by Yuen Wo-Ping (of The Matrix) are balletic masterpieces. Like the dance numbers of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, they are both mesmerizingly graceful and more eloquent than dialogue.
The story is told with great subtlety and power, giving it the quality of a myth or a collective dream. Yu reveals the identity of the masked thief by quietly allowing a teacup to slip out of her hands. When one person is able to catch it with a lightning-fast motion before it hits the floor, Yu knows that her suspicion was correct. When Li touches Yu's hand for the first time, it is a moment of heartbreaking intimacy. The quest for honor and justice could be set in the old West, in ancient Greece, in medieval times, in a 1930's San Francisco detective story, or in some Luke Skywalker-esque space fantasy. Its themes are enduring because they are inside all of us.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how we balance our heads and our hearts to forge lives that are grounded in honor and in love.
|Theatrical release date:||December 22, 2000|
|DVD release date:||June 5, 2001|
|Cast:||Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi|
|Topics:||Sports and martial arts|
|Run time:||120 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||martial arts violence and some sexuality|