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Hero (2002) July 28, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Action, Adventure, Drama, Movies.

Our hero, the Jet

Dir. Yimou Zhang

Starring Jet Li, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ziyi ZHang

Jet Li proved he’s a great actor in Danny the Dog, so I can support his choice to abandon martial arts movies. If he sticks to it, Hero will be one of the last to feature him in full action mode, and while the acting takes a back seat here, it certainly is a good overall performance. Action scenes can’t be done solo though, and the team behind him,and his co-stars bring a lot to the table. The fighting is shot and cut well, which is important. And while it leans towards the fantastic, everything works well within the movie.

The movie is told mostly in flashbacks, by the “hero” who has supposedly slain the most dangerous assassins threatening the King of Qin. What follows is just plain cinema at it’s grandest – big scenes, great colors, lights and cutting, and some fancy dancing around in trees. Is there more to the story than what is told? Chinese history is as much legend as fact, and that is mirrored in the storytelling here. The facts are blurry.

You would probably find more depth in every scene every time you rewatch this movie. Much is left to interpretation, and just as much transcends interpretation – it’s just there to look pretty. Without giving too much away, let me just say there’s a scene with a lake. Holy heck. This movie is just plain gorgeous.

If you can, I suggest you try to get hold of the chinese extended version which adds 8 minutes to the movie (107 minutes in total). I couldn’t tell you what’s different since I haven’t seen the regular version, but you’ll definitely want as much of Hero as you can get.

Keywords: Kung-Fu, Legends, Epic



1. House of Flying Daggers (2004) - His Review « 4eyes - His and Her movie reviews - September 19, 2006

[…] It proudly puts a lot of effort on cinematography and a few key action moments, but the story arc is fulfilling in and of itself which to me makes for a more complete experience. Where Hero had one foot in epic chinese traditions, both in storyline and in storytelling, Flying Daggers focuses on a simple story: […]

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