Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:59 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Cheng Pei Pei
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Sony Pictures Classic
Release Date: 2000
Kiddie Movie: They might find the flying fun, but they’ll have to read the entire movie.
Date Movie: Most of the characters are dudettes so she might like it.
Gratuitous Sex: Almost shown, between Jen and Lo
Gratuitous Violence: People kicking ass and a dude gets a blade in his head.
Action: See “Violence.”
Laughs: I laughed at the people flying through the air.
Memorable Scene: Why didn’t Jen just cut the tree branch?
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Ang Lee

The best movie ever! The best movie of the year! You’ve got to go see this movie! They said the same thing about “The Blair Witch Project.” This time the buzz revolves around “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and all I’ve got to say is it’s no “Dude, Where’s My Car?” (Yes, if you read my review of “Traffic” you will notice the similarity in opening paragraphs. My feelings are the same on both so why try a different opening line?)
I know I’m in the minority when it comes to reviewers, but I didn’t think “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was all that great. Sure it had a nice story, sure some of the fight scenes kicked ass, but people could fly and rather than have me cheering and in awe, I just laughed at them.

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is brought into the states as a subtitled martial arts film, yup, that means you have to read the movie instead of get engrossed in the visuals, and maybe that’s one of the problems I had with it. But I don’t think so. In any case you’ve got Li (Chow Yun Fat). He’s giving up his ways as a security dude, telling Yu (Michelle Yeoh) to take his sword as a gift to a political leader. No sooner does she present the sword then it’s gets stolen. Enter Jen (Zhang Ziyi), the governor’s daughter about to be wed to a man she doesn’t love. We quickly find out that she is being trained by another woman hell bent on destroying people. Li comes back to get his sword, is convinced that Jen can be a good person with the right training, but Jen is a bad seed, always causing problems, especially with her really being in love with a desert rogue, Lo (Chang Chen).

The story was nice and simple, which was good especially since you have to read it as you work to experience it, and as a love story, a story about good and evil people, well, you root for Li, wish Jen would see the errors of her evil ways, and want Jen and Lo to get together. But then came the fighting. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good fight scene, like people “climbing” walls as they would jump back and forth between buildings, but when they started flying I started losing it. There they would be, running along a rooftop, and then “Weeeeeeeee!” Their legs would start running like Fred Flintstone starting his car and they would launch themselves to the next rooftop, or along the tops of trees. I just couldn’t buy it. Now I know it goes along with the whole mystical training storyline, but for me it just seemed funny, kinda like the touching moment when the one dude has a blade stuck in his head and is dying and I just laughed.

I did think “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was a good movie although I think I would have rather had it dubbed instead of subtitles (I was brought up on Godzilla movies so the fact that the mouths don’t match the words doesn’t bother me) so I could get absorbed into the characters more, and it would have been better to show the reason these people could fly, maybe with a look at the training taking place, at least then there would be a logical explanation. I know you might say something like, “Yea, but dude, they did the same thing in ‘The Matrix’ and you loved that.” To which I will respond “Sure, but they could fly because they were manipulating a computer program.” Show me why these people can fly and maybe I won’t find it funny, but that’s just me, and well maybe also The Dude on the Left who saw the movie with me and found the flying scenes just as funny as I did. Yea, I read that flying scenes are normal in Hong Kong movies, but for me, I need to see why you can fly and not just “it’s in the training.”

So I’m going to give “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” 3 stars out of 5. Give me dubbed over subtitled, give me a flying lesson, and why is this movie rated PG-13 when a dude gets a big blade thrown into his head? Just me I guess.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!