After watching how King Hu experimented with the wuxia genre over and over again in his films, and then seeing how a younger director like Ang Lee has continued to use the same ideas in a much more advanced style, it really shows myself how a single filmmaker is able to make a difference in filmmaking for years to come.
One of the reasons why this is so inspiring is because Ang Lee did a terrific job with this film. Although the fight scenes still included flying, they were also choreographed extremely well, which makes it easy for someone to dismiss the unrealistic flying and focus on what beauty those moments of flying adds to “dancing” between the characters. I say dancing because that is what it was originally meant to seem like with King Hu’s films, and it definitely shows in Ang Lee’s most advanced versions of wuxia.
Another very honorable thing that Ang Lee did in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was cast Cheng Pei-Pei. It is always so thrilling to see one of the original actors in a genre, appear in the much newer version. It’s like a flashback to the film that has inspired to this newer one and is very respectful, in my opinion.
The story in this film is also incredibly moving. This was the first time I have seen this film, and everyone thing was just on-point. I definitely would watch this again.
Although this is not a King Hu film, this film is essential in being able to fully appreciate how much King Hu has impacted martial arts in films that followed.