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Genre: Action/Romance/Martial Arts
Director: Zhang Yimou
Starring: Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Ziyi
RunTime: 2 hrs
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: PG (Edited Version)

Release Date: 29 July 2004

Synopsis (Courtesy from Columbia TriStar):

At its height, the Tang Dynasty was one of the most enlightened empires in Chinese history. But in 859AD, the Dynasty is in decline. The Emperor is incompetent and the government is corrupt. Unrest is spreading throughout the land and many rebel armies are forming in protest. The largest, and most prestigious, is an underground alliance called the 'House of Flying Daggers'.

The House of Flying Daggers operates mysteriously, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Thus, they earned the support and admiration of the people and expanded quickly. Based in Feng Tian County, close to the Imperial Capital, the House of Flying Daggers has long been a thorn in the side of their hated rivals, the local deputies.

To the fury of the deputies, even after they fought and killed the leader of the House of Flying Daggers, the House continues to thrive. Under the leadership of a mysterious New Leader, the House of Flying Daggers grows ever more powerful. Feng Tian County's two local captains, Leo (ANDY LAU) and Jin (TAKESHI KANESHIRO) are ordered to capture the new leader within ten days.

Captain Leo suspects that Mei (ZHANG ZIYI), the beautiful new dancer at the local Peony Pavilion is actually the daughter of the old leader, and hatches a plan to arrest her and bring her in for questioning. When Mei refuses to divulge any information on the House of Flying Daggers, the two captains set up another plan. This time, Captain Jin will pretend to be a lone warrior called Wind and rescue Mei from prison, earning her trust and escorting her to the secret headquarters of the House of Flying Daggers.

The plan works, and on their long journey to the House, Jin and Mei warm to each other. Before long, Mei has developed feelings for her enigmatic protector, Wind. For his part, Jin is surprised to find himself falling for Mei's headstrong charm. Both struggle to contain their feelings, but under the starry night, their irrepressible desire is almost beyond their control. Danger lurks in the forest surrounding them, and the wind is still, as if sensing the tension in the air.

What lies ahead for Jin and Mei, these star-crossed lovers? If this is true love, then why are there plots in their heads…and secrets in their hearts?


The era of an deteriorating Dynasty, a mysterious rebel army, two highly-skilled imperial constables, one beautiful but blind courtesan. Every things perfect, but this stylishly-titled movie by Chinese Film-Master Zhang Yimou sure fell far below the expectation of the "wu-xia" (Martial Arts) movie fans, all thanks to an off-topic script.

The movie open with imperial constables, Captain Leo (Andy Lau) and Captain Jin (Takeshi Keneshiro) investigating on a blind courtesan, Mei (ZHANG ZIYI). After a lenghty dancing scene, both constable concluded that Mei is actually the daughter of the deceased leader of the rebel army, House of Flying Daggers. In an attempt to wipe-out the stronghold of this rebel army, Captain Jin disguised as lone warrior, Wind and rescue Mei from the prison cell in order to earn her trust. Whereas Captain Leo following their trail closely so as to relieve them from possible danger.

During their lenghty escape to the secret headquarters of the House of Flying Daggers, the story headed into an romantic extravanganza between Captain Jin and Mei. The script-writer seem to had deviated from the movie's stylish title, penning every action scene to finish off with an unnecessary passionate moments between Captain Jin and Mei. To add on to the many "turn-off", comes an "Infernal Affair" plotline, and an anti-climatic showdown between the imperial army and House of Flying Daggers.

Fortunately Hong Kong Martial Arts Director, Ching Siu-Tong saved the day. His geniuses had presented fabulously-dangerous and heart-pounding martial art sequences, on top of the overly-mentioned Bamboo forest fighting scene. In addition, Zhang YiMou's mastery in colours makes the viewing experiences pleasurable in spite of the shortcoming in it's script.

A fine masterpiece of Art? Maybe, but be prepared to be disappointed "wu-xia" fans.

Movie Rating:

Review by Leosen Teo


. Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon (2008)

. An Empress And The Warriors (2008)

. The Warlords (2007)

. The Curse of the Golden Flowers (2006)

. A Battle of Wits (2006)

. The Promise (2005)

. Seven Swords (2005)

. The Myth (2005)

  Publicity Stills of "House Of Flying Daggers" (Courtesy from Columbia TriStar)

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