Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

House of Flying Daggers

And back to the not-quite-sublime, but nevertheless very good. House of Flying Daggers is being compared on a regular basis with both Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which is not really just. House is not as stylized as Hero, nor as magical as Crouching Tiger. What it does have is a marvelously convoluted plot of intrigue and betrayal, enhanced by just enough of the magical level of martial arts. It stars Zhang Ziyi (of Crouching Tiger and Hero) as well as veteran actors Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro. A lot about this movie is swift and brutal—both the fighting and the sex. In fact, the “sex scenes” are quite pure with no nudity. In fact, it got to be rather an unintentional running gag that every time someone wants to have sex with Mai (Ziyi), they end up wrestling on the ground—we conjectured that she would ultimately choose the man who offered her a real bed—but ultimately the competition for her crosses path tragically with the ongoing rebellion and counter-rebellion. While still very good, I would class this with other serious historical dramas rather than the mythic works such as Crouching Tiger. Recommended. In Mandarin, with subtitles.
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