Hero is not a CTHD clone; its a wonderful movie in its own right, staking its own territory as a dreamlike meditation on motivation and love.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
If you found "Crouching Tiger" a stunning bore, you probably won't fall under Hero's spell. But the rest of us, well, we'll be more than happy to savor every moment of its strange, ravishing beauty.
A dazzlingly lensed, highly stylized meditation on heroism.
Zhang Yimou's impeccably crafted, all-star martial arts extravaganza, is the essence of shallow gravitas.
If there's a drawback, it's that the plot is trite. Hero is an exemplary example of visual poetry. The narrative is clearly of secondary concern.
I wish 'Hero's emotional heat rose more intensely -- more recklessly. There's something grand but distant and almost fetishistic about the operatic solemnity with which Zhang approaches the Rashomonic story of assassins attempting to kill a king.
Hero is the masterpiece. It employs unparalleled visual splendor to show why men must make war to secure the peace and how warriors may find their true destiny as lovers.
Brilliant in flashes, thinned out as a whole, the film seems ideal for the DVD revolution, where the greatest hits can be compiled at the touch of a remote.
Its stars - especially the photogenic Leung and Cheung, fresh from Wong Kar Wai's jazzy romance In the Mood for Love - are wonderfully charismatic. And wonderfully athletic.