Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Anti Hero


Been looking forward to this film since I saw a clip of it on the Academy Awards show a year or so ago. So when it finally came to town, got good reviews, and became the top box office draw of the Labor Day weekend, I was even more psyched. After all, I’ve never seen a Jet Li movie I didn’t like.

This one, though, is different. I still like it, I guess. Sort of. But not the way I expected, and not nearly as much as I expected. Sure, it’s intellectually stimulating. Yeah, the cinematography is incredible. OK, it’s just possibly the most beautiful martial arts film ever made.

But, much as I like my kung fu movies made with style and grace, I also expect a rip-roaring story with a sense of humor and a lot of mindless butt-kicking. (My ideals in this vein are Iron Monkey (1994)
http://movies.go.com/movies/I/ironmonkey_1994/, who’s a cross between Robin Hood and Zorro, and The Legend of Fong Sai-Yuk (1993), a Jet Li film now marketed as simply The Legend. http://www.kungfucinema.com/reviews/fongsaiyuk.htm).

Hero, unfortunately, is slow. And serious. And arty. And tragic. And sad. It tries to be a lot more than a kung fu movie, and I suppose it succeeds. But in the end, it left me unsatisfied, like I needed to go out and rent an old Zatoichi flick.

1 Comments:

Blogger Bill said...

THE IRON MONKEY would have done more business if the publicity department had taken my advice and used this tagline: "You can't spank the Iron Monkey!"

September 14, 2004 at 6:38 AM  

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