This afternoon, I sat down to watch Hero, a wuxia film starring Jet Li. Set in the Warring States Period, the story centers around a hero who stops a plot by three assassins to kill the King of Qin, who has embarked on a campaign to conquer the surrounding kingdoms in ancient China.

The cinematography in this picture is so stunning that it stands as a marvel to behold. The use of color is sublime in its amazing contrasts and connections. The movie was filmed in some of the most unusual and magnificent locations in the world. The characters draw the viewers into the story, showing the strengths and weaknesses of the four heroes—with perfectly-cast actors—and their depths of emotion. The fight sequences popped off the screen and even the scenes where the characters were flying around in the wire work typical of the genre were believable.

I enjoyed this picture immensely, particularly how the scenery and costumes changed color with each scene change, and consider it the equal of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, despite the political controversy behind it. I hadn’t even known it was controversial until after I’d seen it.

My grade: A.


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