Detailed item info
Following up his award-winning martial-arts drama HERO, director Zhang Yimou (JU DOU, RAISE THE RED LANTERN) tells an intricately detailed love story in the swordfighting epic HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, set during the final days of the Tang Dynasty. A mysterious group called the Flying Daggers is a dangerous threat to the government, so police captain Leo (Andy Lau) sends his right-hand man, Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro), undercover to try to find the rebels' location. Jin, a notorious playboy, pretends he is a roving warrior called "Wind" and befriends Mei (Ziyi Zhang), a blind dancer who is believed to be the daughter of the former leader of the Daggers. As he leads her across the countryside, they are "attacked" by government soldiers--but these battles are staged by Leo in order to convince Mei that Jin is on her side. But when a general orders that Mei must be captured at any cost, the fighting turns real, and Jin must decide between his loyalty to his job and his growing love for Mei. Meanwhile, Mei battles her feelings for Jin as well, trying to hide her true self. Zhang's gorgeous, compelling film is filled with beautiful singing and dancing, marvelous costumes, and wonderful locations; the scene in the Bamboo Forest is unforgettable, as is the Echo Game, which Leo and Mei play in the Peony Pavilion. There are also twists throughout the film and by the time the end comes, audiences will be spinning their heads in awe and amazement at the neverending wonders of this special movie. The film is dedicated to Anita Mui, who was to have a starring role before her unexpected death.
Edition: Universal Media Disc
Number of Discs: 1
Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
Film Country: China
Genre: Foreign Films
Display Format: Universal Media Disc
"The action sequences are often joltingly spectacular..."
Premiere - Glenn Kenny (12/01/2004)
"[A] gorgeous entertainment, a feast of blood, passion and silk brocade."
New York Times - A. O. Scott (12/03/2004)
"Zhang reveals bold finesse at pulling off an emotion-charged epic of style and sophistication that is exciting and at times humorous."
Los Angeles Times - Kevin Thomas (12/03/2004)
"[A}n orgy of spellbinding visuals: dazzling acrobatics, mesmerizing martial arts, sumptuous settings and resplendent costumes. With its high drama and historical setting, it is more like an opera than a movie."
USA Today - Claudia Puig (12/03/2004)
"[With] a lyrical love story, head-spinning fights and dazzling surprises....Prepare your eyes for popping."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (12/09/2004)
"Zhang Yimou returns with another beautifully wrought incursion into classical Chinese folklore."
Uncut - Wendy Ide (01/01/2005)
"[A]n outrageously gorgeous spectacle of balletic aggression....[With] a romantic passion that's woven into the very fabric of the action."
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman
"HOUSE is lushly emotional, intimate and intricately tricked out....Zhang has always deployed colour and design with immense skill..."
Sight and Sound - Leslie Felperin (01/01/2005)
"[T]he ravishing visual compositions add a magical note to this tragic tale."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - Andre Chautard (12/01/2004)
4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he real delight here is the inspired fights, the lyrical love story and the twisty-turny narrative."
Empire - William Thomas (12/01/2008)