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Crouching Tiger, Hidden
"Take that, Hollywood."
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a reason to go back to the movies.
Forget the diarrhea the Hollywood studios are dripping onto our
screens in their desperate attempt to win stupid, meaningless
awards. There is a movie out there that loves us.
What a fantastic fucking movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon is. It's what chicks kicking ass is all about. And
I love chicks who kick ass, or else I wouldn't have married Mrs.
Chow Yun Fat is Li Mu Bai, a great Wudan Warrior eager to
retire. He gives his legendary sword, the Green Destiny (sounds
like a failed Plymouth, doesn't it?), to his friend. Soon, the
great sword is stolen and Michele Yeoh, Fat's longtime unrequited
love helps him retrieve it. Fat and Yeoh suspect the Jade Fox
(Pe Pe Chang), Fat's longtime enemy who killed his master and
stole the Wudan handbook.
But Pe Pe Cheng has help from the young, impudent and impossibly
beautiful Ziyi Zhang. She's the daughter of an ambitious governor
who has committed her to another man's son in order to help his
career. Zhang would rather be a female warrior like Yeoh, and
she is slicker with a sword than I am with Vaseline, my dick
and five free minutes. It is Zhang who stole the sword and read
the illiterate Pe Pe Cheng the Wudan Warrior manual.
Zhang also pines for her desert-robber boyfriend, Chen Chang,
a rogue softie who robs the rich as they travel through the desert,
and likes nice hot baths in his cozy cave. In a fabulous flashback,
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon tells how, after a robbery,
the snotty Zhang chases him halfway across Mongolia to retrieve
her stolen comb. The chase and rolling, kicking, slugging fight
becomes a game and then love. I fucking love a woman who will
take on a man in a fight on equal terms. Of course, she is promised
to someone else and to a life as a boring aristocrat, not a sword-wielding
Zhang is so fucking great. It's the type of kick-ass female
that Hollywood will never get right. She's tough, flawed, selfish
and moves faster than a sales clerk at Best Buy disappears when
you ask for help. She should be unlikable but because of her
true love for Chen Chang and her unlimited talent for fighting,
she is worth saving.
Back in the present, Zhang is forced to marry her father's
friend's son. Chen Chang disrupts the wedding, and Zhang escapes.
Fat and Yeoh follow Zhang and the Green Destiny across China.
Her love for Chen Chang reminds them of their own love that could
not be consummated because of politics. Pe Pe Cheng is jealous
of Zhang because she would not teach her everything in the Wudan
manual. Zhang is the better fighter now, and the jealousy makes
Pe Pe try to kill her
I'm sure you've heard plenty about the fight scenes in Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and the hype is true. They're fucking
awesome. The fighters leap from rooftop to rooftop, battle on
tree tops and climb walls with ease. Much of the flying looks
fake, they are clearly being lifted by wires. But, the actual
fighting is, well, fuck, I can't think of great enough words
without sounding like a quote whore. They're amazing. And somehow,
I forgot about the fakeness of the flying.
Some people say it's like ballet, but that's bullshit. If
ballet were half this entertaining, and more people in the Nutcracker
Suite got the crap beat out of them, I'd join Mrs. Filthy for
a show. This is way fucking better. Fast, furious, beautiful
and better than I have seen in any other movie. Yes, better even
than Master of the Flying Guillotine. I found myself with
clenched teeth during most of the fights. These chicks should
be Charlie's Angels, and mediocre director McG should watch this
movie to learn how to creatively stage fights, not just rip off
The Matrix again.
Ziyi Zhang is so goddamn pretty she lights up the screen with
her little smile and her rudeness. She's not pretty like a skanky
broad I'd want to bend over the coffee table. She's pretty in
a way that I would be happy to just sit and stare at her for
hours. Perfect skin, perfect eyes and plenty of pissed-off fire
in her eyes - like a female, Chinese, bad-ass Holden Caulfield.
I always will root for beautiful, snotty girls who are as good
as they think they are.
Yeoh is great, too. There's the right amount of sadness in
her, and she gracefully plays the aging warrior who knows her
opportunity for love is slipping away. She still looks sort of
hot, too. Fat doesn't have much to do but fight, and he's good
at that, but it's more fun when the women are beating each other
The movie has problems. There are many long talky scenes where
a lot of history and philosophy is explained. They disrupt the
flow of fights and explain way too much. The first fifteen minutes
were slow and dull. I thought I had accidentally stumbled into
Raise the Red Lantern, the standard-bearer for excruciatingly
dull Chinese movies. And the movie ends in a drenching bath of
melodrama. The last fifteen minutes were as long as the first
fifteen. But, overall the movie is like a good 40 oz. of malt
liquor. I was left with a warm, fuzzy aftertaste and buzz.
Five fingers for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
I'm giving it five fingers not because it's perfect, but because
it's great and it shows the weak-ass Hollywood martial-arts ripoffs
as the frauds they are.
Want to know more about Filthy? Read the interview in Tribe.
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