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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate 12
Cast
Chow Yun-Fat
Michelle Yeoh
Ziyi Zhang
Directors
Ang Lee
Screenwriters
Du Lu Wang
Hui-Ling Wang
James Schamus
Kuo Jung Tsai
Running Time
120 minutes

EMPIRE ESSAY: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Ang Lee opens the door for the Asian epic in Hollywood


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Plot
The disappearance of a magical jade sword spurs a breathtaking quest for the missing treasure. Li (Chow Yun-Fat) is embittered by the loss of his jade sword, and his unrequited pursuit of Yu (Michelle Yeoh) is further complicated by the mysterious intrusion of an assassin. The identity of the assassin is gradually unveiled as another poignant tale of love begins to ravel with that of Li and Yu against the backdrop of Western China's magnificent landscape.


Verdict
Crouching Tiger achieves what all great films must. Whatever your viewpoint, it is transcendent — a cinematic wonder that exceeds the necessities of plot. A martial arts opus packed with emotional resonance. A foreign language film that kicks arse.


Reviewed by Ian Nathan

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