In China thousands of years ago, a mercenary known as Nameless travels to the emperor's compound. He is hailed as a hero for having killed a number of skilled assassins who had been dogging the ruler. The emperor, in a private
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audience with Nameless, asks him how he managed to vanquish his enemies. Nameless then recounts his heroic feats, which involve both the practice of martial arts and psychological mind games. Realizing that his nemeses are far more skilled at swordplay, Nameless plays divide and conquer. In this way his able opponents -- including a pair of jealous lovers -- do much of the dirty work by going after each other instead of ganging up on Nameless. Their many battle scenes are reminiscent of those in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, as Nameless and his enemies seem to float or fly through the air amid magical, color-drenched backdrops.
The review of this Movie prepared by Elana Starr
In ancient China, before the reign of the first emperor, a minor regional official who goes by "Nameless" appears at the court of the King of Qin and announces the astonishing news that he has killed three assassins who have sought the king's death for years. The king (Chen), who has long been at war with others of the Six Kingdoms in the hope of uniting all the lands into one great country, asks Nameless (Li) to tell him how he did this. The visitor describes how he outfought and outwitted the warriors Sky (Yen), Flying Snow (Cheung), and Broken Sword (Leung). But the king suspects a trap, relates a different story of the four warriors, and accuses Nameless of being part of a larger plot to assassinate the king. In a sort of cross between "Rashomon" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," this awe-inspiring 2002 film by director and co-writer Zhang Yimou takes one's breath away not so much with its action sequences, though those are great, but its incredible beauty and color palettes: the characters' outfits and the landscapes progress from red (for imagination) to blue (perceived reality) to white (truth) and finally to green (enlightenment/peace).
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus
HERO is a movie written, produced and directed by Zhang Yimou in 2002. This picture won seven Hong-Kong Film awards and was nominated fot the 2003 Academy award in the Best Foreign Language Film category. HERO presents impressive sword fights filmed in superb landscapes.
The setting is China, 2000 years ago. Four assassins imagine a scheme to approach the King of Qin. They blame him for trying to invade the neighboring kingdoms in order to create one and only China. Finally, Jet Li, a master in sword fight, manages to come near the King and tells him how he has defeated the three other assassins. But the King quickly understands that Jet Li is the fourth assassin.
The review of this Movie prepared by Daniel Staebler