i was skeptical about zhang yimou’s film hero. i’m not entirely sure why. maybe it was because i thought that, after several other films that looked to be of this ilk, another director was trying to capitalize on the “kung-fu art film” phenomenon in America (e.g., Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).

ok, maybe he was, but he did a brilliant job of it (despite his less-than-stellar follow-up house of flying daggers, a visually stunning tale that hewed just a bit too close to its dragon-born antecedent).
hero is not just visually stunning; it’s also a powerful historical tale fueled by romance, deception, and betrayal. the performances are amazing, the action choreography is excellent, the cinematrography is superior…i’m stumbling over myself to find more superlatives.

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