Ying Xiong (Hero)

4 out of 5 snowstones
There used to be black-and-white movies. Then you had color movies. And occasionally you have color movies. "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" is one. "Ju-Dou" by Zhang Yimou is another. And "Ying Xiong" (or "Hero") by the same director, is also a very good example. This movie simply oozes with colors, preferably primary ones: a whirlwind of bright yellow leaves (later to turn crimson) complicates a fight; a huge palace hall has soft green banners hanging from the ceiling that hide two duellists from each other.
All this works well in combination with the dazzling martial arts fighting known as wu xia, which is of the same quantity and quality as in the Western wu xia breakthrough movie, 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'. That movie disappointed in its storyline, spouting clichés such as 'spoiled princess gets tamed by rough but noble robber king' and 'they had to hide their true feelings for each other to stay professional'. "Ying Xiong", on the other hand, is a multi-layered, color-coded and believable story where treachery piles on top of treachery. Add to this some massive battle scenes and the inventive use of computer graphics, and it's clear who gets the gold.
Posted by cronopio at 03:37 AM, February 09, 2004