CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (2000) (****)
One of the best films of 2000, this is the kind of film that you love to watch over and over again. That's saying a lot for a subtitled film. Director Ang Lee (ICE STORM) brought to life a Chinese kung-fu move with heart and emotion. I had to twist my wife's arm to go see this in the theater. It's now one of her favorites and she let out an audible, "wow," in the theater when the first character effortlessly takes flight.
Veteran fighter Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat, ANNA AND THE KING) is about to retire and he has given his legendary sword, the Green Destiny, to Sir Te (Lung Sihung, EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN). It also allows him to reunited with his childhood friend, Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh, TOMORROW NEVER DIES), who is employed as a guardian. Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien have long loved each other, but have kept their feelings repressed. Jen Yu (Ziyi Zhang, RUSH HOUR 2) is the Governor's daughter, who is engaged to marry a man she does not love. Secretly, she is being trained in the Wudan martial arts by thief and murderer, Jade Fox (Pei-pei Cheng, THE LEGEND OF BLACK MASK), who killed Li Mu Bai's master.