Hero ★★★★

Zhang Yimou's House of the Flying Daggers really couldn't bother me much, though one of my biggest annoyances with that film has slowly turned into one of the main reasons I enjoy these wuxia-epics so much: the simplicity of its plots. In Hero the story of an assassin and his secret plot to kill the king is stretched out to become almost excruciatingly thin but because the film excels in nearly every other aspect - most notably the gorgeous cinematography, production and costume design, and the wonderfully choreographed fight sequences - it is an astounding piece of entertainment throughout and a highly unique artwork at that. If there's anything that managed to keep me from fully enjoying this, it has to be the (fortunately sparse) use of CGI in certain sequences. While it never becomes overbearing it can be spotted quite easily and because Yimou also incorporates shots within the same sequences that use practical effects to establish the same effects, it feels as if the particular use of CGI in this film might have been left aside. Still, an absolute joy! After this and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, I feel like wuxia-epics may become one of my favorite genres.

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