Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ★★★★½

First viewing in many years. I was struck by how episodic it is. Not just the interlude in the desert but also how the story continually references events that seem to have taken place in previous, unseen installments. There’s enough “world building” here for a whole franchise, really. We’re lucky that they only made one sequel though because part of its perfection lies in how this movie leaves so much on the table. It doesn’t feel the need to dig into and explain every nook and cranny. Superb.