This week, there wasn’t any movie I was interested to watch (okay, actually there was one – a Korean movie called The Villainess, which sounds really badass from the synopsis, but the movie is shown at limited theatres and it’s slightly further from my house and I’m just too lazy okay!). So I decided to check out my Netflix account on my awesome smart TV to see if there’s anything remotely interesting to watch in there and I remembered I wanted to watch Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. So here I am, two hours later, reviewing it.
In the sequel for the award-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Shu Lien (played by one of my faves Asian actress, Michelle Yeoh) came back after years of solitude since the last time we saw her to where the Green Destiny, the legendary sword owned by her beloved Mu Bai, was kept by Sir Te, who recently passed away. On her journey there, she was attacked by Hades Dai’s (Jason Scott Lee) warriors. She was not alone though as she was assisted by a mysterious masked man. She eventually reached her destination and paid her respect to Sir Te and found a mysterious guest – Snow Vase (Natasha Liu Bordizzo). She tried to convince the son of Sir Te to hide the Green Destiny sword, which she knew was being hunted by Hades Dai, but to no avail. When the sword was attempted to be stolen by Wei Fang (Harry Shum Jr), she decided to seek the help of those who followed the Iron Way to guard the sword. One of the warriors who answered her call was her supposedly dead fiance, Meng Sizhao (Donnie Yen).
The plot is predictable. The moment Donnie Yen’s character appeared on screen, I was saying out loud: “Ah, the ex lover and she would try to ignore him and then somehow fell in love with him again.” And I was right 99% of the time which made me sort of bored with it because I expected what was going to happen. It does not leave me surprised at all. Nothing that made me: “Well, that was shocking!” Zilch.
The cinematography was not as good as the first movie, probably because the crew was different here. In the first movie, we had Lee Ang helming it and cinematography was by Peter Pau. This time, it was Yuen Woo-ping who was the action choreographer for the first movie but couldn’t replicate the same thing that Lee Ang did (I mean, hello, remember those beautiful scenery in Brokeback Mountain?). The cinematography here was done by Newton Thomas Sigel, definitely not Peter Pau. And maybe because it’s Netflix. The background definitely is CGI-ed or at least looked CGI-ed, which already gave me a different feeling from the first movie and I began to compare from there.
However, the one good thing I could point out about the movie is that the action scenes were so good. It’s like watching a dance. It’s so beautiful to watch on its own.
Otherwise, it’s just not worth it. I mean, I’m glad it’s not in the theatres and in Netflix on your TV but if you see it in your Netflix queue or guide, don’t bother. Watch something else. I’m not sure what else is good in Netflix but just go to the next option.
I give it 1.5 out of 5.