Fifteen years ago director Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon leapt into theaters and became a world wide phenomenon. The martial arts epic introduced wuxia (a Chinese genre of fiction that deals with sorcery, chivalry and martial arts) to people outside of China and turned actors Yun Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, and Ziyi Zhang into true international stars. After making almost $215 million in total box office (on a $17 million budget) and winning four Academy Awards (out of 10 nominations), a sequel is finally hitting theaters in February 2016.
The new movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, is based on the fifth book in the Crane Iron Pentalogy (the original movie was based on the fourth book) and “tells an epic story of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption, set against breathtaking action in an epic martial arts battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of the Martial World”
Here’s the poster accompanying the trailer:
In place of Ang Lee, the movie is directed by the legendary martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping, with a cast including returning star Michelle Yeoh, along with Donnie Yen, Harry Shum Jr, Jason Scott Lee, Roger Yuan, Eugenia Yuan, and Natasha Liu Bordizzo. Yeoh reprises her role as Lu Shien, with Donnie Yen (who is set to appear in next years Star Wars anthology film, Rogue One) as Silent Wolf.
In a first for the industry, the movie will debut simultaneously in IMAX theaters and streaming on Netflix. It’s an interesting idea, banking on the fact that enough people will think the film’s action and effects will be worth shelling out the $17+ to see it in IMAX rather than the comfort of their own homes. If the film is anything like it’s predecessor, then the answer, for me, is a resounding yes. But, to help you make up your own mind, here is the first trailer for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.
My first takeaway from the trailer: that incredible remix of Creedence Clearwaters Revival’s Bad Moon Rising! I loved the juxtaposition of that moody take on the song with the vibrant setting and action.
My second takeaway is that while I’m definitely intrigued (especially to see Michelle Yeah come back as Lu Shien, one of my favorite movie characters from the last 20 years), some of the special effects in the trailer aren’t living up to the heights set by the first film. The last bit with the fight on the crumbling tower, especially, needs a little work. There is still time to tweak, though, and the rest of the trailer feels right – the scope of the story and landscape, the idea that Lu Shien would have given up fighting after the events in the first film but is inexorably drawn back due to a new threat, and the right mix of character and action.
It will be interesting to see if fans will return to the world of swords, legendary warriors, and destiny in historic China, or it’s been too long since the original movie. If the trailer is a true indication of the what the film has to offer, I think it’ll be worth checking out.
Make sure you check back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.
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