View Full Version : Film Review: “The House of Flying Daggers” (Spoilers)

Death and the Sun
Monday, April 25th, 2005, 09:30 PM
Visually stunning, but next time a real plot might be a good idea. That’s more or less what I thought about this film in a nutshell. In that sense this is the exact opposite of Zhang Yimou’s previous film, “Hero”, which was visually (mostly) uninteresting, but did have a fascinating storyline.

The film in set in the 859, during the time the Tang-dynasty was going downhill fast. The main focus is on the conflict between The Flying Daggers, a renegade group, and the Dynasty army.

There are three main characters – an army captain, a beautiful blind dancer and the wandering swordsman who falls for her. But, surprise surprise, things aren’t quite as they seem, and each character has some dangerous secrets to keep.

The fight scenes are more realistic this time around, and there is less “Peter Pan s***” as moviegoing negroes have put it, in their uniquely eloquent way. Instead, flying through the air has been replaced with real blood and real pain, which was mostly lacking in “Hero”. It’s a pity the plot is not better structured, because in its middle act the film becomes a repetitive series set-ups for the following fight scene.

The most annoying thing is that the big climax that all the characters keep hinting at never comes. Instead, we’re treated to yet another combat scene much like the four previous ones we’ve already seen.

There are some very gringeworthy romantic scenes, especially at the very end, set to music that is probably capable of rotting your teeth if you listen to it repeatedly. :speechles

Zhang Yimou is still an excellent filmmaker, but this one seems like a transitional piece, before he moves on to his next serious project. At least I hope this is the case.

“The House of Flying Daggers” is not a painful experience exactly, but a somewhat frustrating one. Nevertheless, it is worth watching if you liked "Hero" or enjoy this genre.

Despite its flaws, I give it a :thumb001:



Death and the Sun
Wednesday, May 11th, 2005, 01:41 AM
Another great online review here (http://www.popcrush.com/).