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  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon remains one of the greatest martial arts films ever made. The breath-taking cinematography and graceful fighting sequences led it to become the highest grossing film in a foreign language in North America, helped open up the west to Asian cinema and is quite simply a masterpiece. But sadly The Sword of Destiny seems to capture very little of the beauty that made Crouching Tiger so incredible and instead feels more like an attempt to cash in on the legacy of Ang Lee's original film.

    Taking place 18 years after the original film, Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) returns to defend the sword Green Destiny once again, this time from the evil Lord Hades (Jason Scott Lee). She is assisted by Silent Wolf (Donnie Yen), her ex fiancé who she believed was dead. Meanwhile a young woman known as Snow Vase (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) who is training under Shu Lien begins to fall for Wei Fang (Harry Shun Jr), a young thief who attempted to steal the sword for Hades. The film rehashes several story beats from the original film but recreates them with far weaker characterisation and lacks the same depth of its predecessor.

    The only returning cast member from the first film is Michelle Yeoh, who does deliver a good performance by bringing the same wisdom and nobility that she bought to the first film. However every other character suffers from a screenplay that is incapable of doing anything other than filling up time until the next action sequence. The main romance in the film between the two young lovers is never able to create any real chemistry. Even Donnie Yen, one of the greatest Chinese action stars, is unable to do anything with his little screen time and the incredibly bland script other than fight and look stoic.

    The cinematography mixed with the vast landscapes looks nice at times, but at others the film suffered heavily from an overuse of CGI that feels like a very misguided departure from the natural beauty of the original film. Also instead of being filmed in Mandarin like the original film, the actors instead all speak English. Obviously this is done to appeal to a wider demographic, but it ends up distancing itself even further from the tone of the original film.

    Out of everyone who could direct a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Woo- Ping Yuen could at first seem like a good choice. He's directed some of the greatest action films from China (including Drunken Master and Iron Monkey) and was even the action choreographer for the original Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. And he is able to pull of some great fight sequences throughout the film, including one creative sequence battling along a frozen lake. But as impressive as the fight choreography is, it never recaptures the tone of the original Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Whereas the fights in Crouching Tiger played out like a delicate dance through which two warriors communicated, Sword of Destiny is an impressive display of fighting skill and stunt work, but nothing much else.

    Also whilst Woo-Ping Yuen is quite possibly one of the greatest action directors of all time, his style just wasn't suited here. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon wasn't really an action movie. It was a romantic drama cleverly disguised as a martial arts flick. But Sword of Destiny is instead just an action movie with a weak romantic sub-plot tacked on.
  • Sword of Destiny (2016) tries to pick up several years after the events of Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000).

    Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) holds again in her hands Li Mu Bai's legendary sword, known as the Green Destiny, and here is where the forced elements starting to emerge... A ferocious villain and his clan is after the sword. A conflicted young couple is needed to enrich the plot and to give a feel of Zhang Ziyi who is missing from the cast. A character who I wont spoil you who he is, played by Donnie Yen, and who has an unbelievable connection with the first movie. And of course the usual revenge sub-plots etc etc.

    Unfortunately, the feel of the movie has nothing to do with Ang Lee's multi-awarded film. It feels like a generic wuxia movie. Too much cable-flying, most of it unnecessary if you ask me, uninspiring fights, over-processed and unnatural imagery... and the music, despite the reprize of Tan Dun's original theme from 2000, is not a perfect fit.

    Overall: Yuen Woo-Ping, the grandmaster of kung-fu choreography makes a sub-par movie with CTHD2. You might want to check it out, out of curiosity if you liked the original more than 15 years ago. But honestly, despite the return of Michelle Yeoh don't expect much...
  • I definitely expected this to be weaker, more superficial and more action-obsessed than the original just judging by its trailer, but it was actually worse in many more ways than I had thought of.

    First ugly thing that hits you is the ruined color gamut, with all colors squeezed into two narrow bands around red and green (like the "teal and orange" madness that has gripped Hollywood this past decade, but shifted to the side toward red and green). Why must you do this to our eyes, movie studios, why? What have we done to deserve this? What's next, having to buy premium versions of the movie just to get the rest of the color spectrum?

    Next comes the complete lack of originality of whatever crumbs of a story there are in there, the entirely boring and soulless dialogue, the cardboard-thin characters that couldn't make you care about them if their lives depended on it, and ending with the mediocre fight scenes. The whole thing was centered around the fighting and they couldn't even get that part at the level of grace and artistry and impact of the fights in the original film.

    And to top it all off, they reversed the languages and wrote the original dialogue in English and added Chinese as a dub. This isn't catastrophic - at least the dub is there so you can make the experience reasonably similar to the original -, but it's still somewhat annoying and a bad production choice.

    This was a very poor use of Yeoh's potential. All in all, my favourite character ended up being the girl fighter from the villain's crew, who just did her job and did it well, without wasting our time with too much meaningless dialogue or with any other hopeless attempts at gaining a depth the screenwriters never gave her in the first place.
  • Your humble reviewer believes that the destiny of certain very special sequels is not merely to entertain, not merely to make money, but to strike a chord within the viewer that makes you realize how much you enjoyed the original and want to see it again.

    So it was that at the halfway point of this movie I decided to go to the Amazon site and order the original CTHD. Only with the perspective of this lop-sided followup can the beauty, the genius, of the original be appreciated.

    That said, a lot of top talent try very hard to salvage this title but aside from some amazing fight scenes -- scenes which by themselves are almost worth the price of the ticket -- it just keeps letting you down.

    Yen's performance here made me appreciate his restraint in the 3 Ip Man movies even more. And watching the increasingly heavy Jason Scott Lee reminded me that when he first debuted on the scene, he played a very svelte Bruce Lee. And any film with Michelle Yeoh is always worth a look.

    Have a glance here, but cherish the original.
  • I don't know how they could take a masterpiece like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and destroyed it. This sequel has nothing of the first movie except for the title.

    Maybe i am too harsh, but Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was an epic movie, with good story line, legendary character in Li My Bai, great chemistry between characters and epic ending. So based on that my expectations for this movie were high. Plus if you put Donnie Yen, and Jason Scott Lee on top of that you would expect nothing less than the previous movie. But, no. In CTHD 2, the story is terrible, the characters are weak, empty and shallow,there is no connection between them, the directing is bad, and the worst part is, it's in English. The only good thing are the fighting scenes and they are average at best.

    So to summarize this movie is an average Chinese kung fu movie with some decent action, sword fighting scenes. As a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel its a big disappointment and not worth watching.
  • It was a decently enjoyable movie, i probably would have enjoyed it more if it didn't have the crouching tiger, hidden dragon tag to it (as it raised expectations)

    Problems i had with it were that it was rather short, there was almost no character development, the story line was quite clichéd and the fight scenes didn't seem as fluid as the original, the musical score wasn't nearly as impressive as the original either.

    I am struggling to find anything about the film that is better than average.

    Overall not a bad film, just not something i will watch again, A generous 6/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I caught the movie in Hong Kong on 21st of February, the 96 minutes version dubbed in Cantonese. Truth to be told, my expectations were very low, because the original was just a classic. The first bad trailer with weird auto-tuned music and English dialogue did not help. But the results surprised me. If you have the chance, watch it in English! =)

    Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company finally got the rights to CTHD, and proceeded to work on a script based on Wang Du Lu's 5th book of the series. Iron Knight, Silver Vase, which are actually the names of 2 of the main characters in the movie (just like Crouching "Tiger" and Hidden "Dragon" 2000 the title itself).

    The director here is Yuen Woo Ping, best known for his choreography work in Ip Man 3, Matrix and of course the first CTHD. He is also a good director on his own, with critical successful films such as Wing Chun and Iron Monkey. According to interviews, Ang Lee did not want to come back for the sequel because he never does a "repeat" work, but he met up with Yuen Woo Ping and gave him his blessings because he knew that if there was anyone who could helm the sequel, it would be the person he worked the closest with in the first movie, Yuen Woo Ping himself.

    The story in this movie is more simple and straightforward (sometimes predictable), and perhaps not as good as the first movie hence this is where a point is deducted.

    However cinematography and costume wise, it is on par, if not better than the original. Landscapes of New Zealand and China, and the beauty of nature are better capture than the original, and the elaborated costumes are noteworthy.

    Action wise, it is a huge step up, perhaps because of the casting of Martial Arts Kingpin Donnie Yen himself, who has a strong martial arts background compared to Chow Yun Fatt who needed plenty of stunt doubles and still did not look fluid in his sword-wield or movements(it was reported that Jet Li rejected the first film hence it went to Fatt). The action sequences makes it a combination of not just a Wu-Xia film but a Kung Fu film because there is now less "flying-around" or wire-work but more realistic martial arts display by Donnie Yen. Donnie Yen's performance and presence in the film is spectacular, and it makes people want to see more of him after his appearance.

    Michelle Yeoh remained in character and is impressive in both the acting and the action department, huge thumbs up for her but unfortunately her performance seems to be slightly overshadowed (surprisingly) by new-comer Natasha Liu Bordizzo who plays Snow Vase.

    Harry Shum Junior actually looks good in this movie in fight scenes due to his tremendous Dance Background and pedigree.

    As for the English Language spoken on the Netflix version(not here in Hong Kong), I think it is a good move because The Weinstein Company and Netflix they want to show the movie to the whole world, hoping to reach audiences who will never ever watch a swordsmen or Wu Xia movie in their lives. There are many people in the world who will never watch a movie because they hate reading subtitles.

    And also because people in China hated the first movie and it flopped and one of the reason is because of Chow Yun Fatt's Cantonese accent and Michelle Yeoh had Malaysian accent in their mandarin dialogue, so please try and understand instead of claiming it should be in Mandarin, the original got mocked because of the bad mandarin accents.

    Overall a very enjoyable movie, which really needs heart to appreciate, it may be slow at times but it truly allows audiences to be observant and to look at the minor details in such a major motion picture.

    It would be even better if one already read the original book by Wang Du Lu or the new novel by Justin Hill, as it covers more motivations and intentions clearly.

    Therefore, do not just view this as a sequel to one of the most successful Wu-Xia films ever made, appreciate this movie and take it as a film of its own, and you will enjoy it thoroughly.
  • Netflix strikes again! This time they chose to ruin the memory of a the 16 year old classic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with a sequel that shines in being utterly boring. The film is only 100 mins long but it seems to last so much longer. The story is poorly constructed and there so little happening that halfway through the movie I hardly knew what is was about. Something about the titular sword, but it seems so unfocused and aimless. You never have the sense that the story is going anywhere or that the characters have some clear purpose. Also the characters are dull and the dialogue utterly uninspired. They did an effort to make it look good but strangely enough this film looks like a TV movie (well it actually is) that has this strong 'shot in a studio' look (much like War Horse for example). I didn't check the director before watching it but was very surprised Woo-Ping (action choreographer Matrix films) was at the wheel. So the action should at least be good right? Wrong, the fight scenes are slow and dull, not fast and furious. So I would recommend to skip this film entirely, certainly if you liked the original and want to keep your memory of it intact.
  • Crouching tiger hidden dragon (part 1) is certainly one of the best martial arts movie ever, due to deep characters , love and emotion, short but extraordinary fighting scenes, beautiful scenery and magnificent music.

    With Donnie Yen and Michelle, fantastic 4K scenic pictures and music reminiscent of the first part the sword of destiny had many ingredients to make our expectations high. However what was delivered is just saddening.

    The plot is clearly lacking quality failing to elaborate on the different characters and transporting emotions. While we could feel the love and respect between Michelle and Li Mu Bai in part 1 we are completely lacking same in sword of destiny. If a movie is not deep than only action can partially compensate this lack,

    Again we get shocked of what we are being presented. Fighting scenes much below capabilities of Donnie Yen and everyone else. For example in the fight scenes of part 1 between Michelle Yeoh and the young Zhang ZhiYi the green sword of destiny is really the matchmaker in a well orchestrated dramatic fight. Going back to the classic *The Sword" with Adam Cheng we find another sample of incredible fight scenes where the sword is making the little difference between the two world best fighters in a culminating dramatic fight. Same movie (The Sword) we find a fantastic elaboration of how a ninja stealth fighter attacks incredibly out of nowhere, bringing our hero into serious trouble. What happened to sword of destiny plot... where the strange lady in red is kind of mimicking this ninja style against Michelle Yeoh. Sword of destiny is so far behind the classic. Also we find much better elaboration of similar fighting style in Azumi 2 ... The makers of Swords of Destiny are clearly not deep into martial arts and deliver zero.

    Sword of destiny does not include surprises, no long or convincing fight scenes, no drama... Characters are introduced, fight, die... Without anything appealing to the spectator.

    My advice to Netflix: next time do not just hire great actors. Hire the best movie makers. Clearly 14 blades with Donnie Yen is the best martial arts movie of this decade. This is the caliber that should have been delivered and this is the crew that should have made sword of destiny. This movie outperforms with incredible fight scenes not seen before and leaves you crying at the sad end. Sword of destiny delivers none of that.
  • Note: Check me out as the "Asian Movie Enthusiast" on YouTube, where I review tons of Asian movies.

    The first Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was released 16 years ago. I think it's a solid film and I enjoyed it quite a bit. There are other swordplay films that I enjoy more than that one, but overall I think it's deserving of its accolades. Now, after watching the trailers for Sword of Destiny, I gathered the impression that this would be a more generic period action movie that's less dramatically effective than its predecessor . . . and that's basically what I got. Over the past few days I've noticed that it has become instantly fashionable to bash on this flick, but I don't think it's as bad as its initial reputation suggests. It has its flaws, but I found it watchable.

    For example, it actually looks quite lovely. It's nicely shot and has some impressive locations. The natural environments are captured well and have a bit of a variety; there are pretty forests, mountains, snowy locales, bodies of water, etc. It's nice to look at and looks professionally made. I feel like I need to say this because some people think that Netflix produced this film. I don't think that's true at all, actually. Unless I'm missing something, Netflix is just distributing it in conjunction with its theatrical release.

    Unfortunately, the scriptwriting is significantly weak element here. The characters and the story are very generic, which makes this feel like a "by-the-book" genre movie. I almost feel like it's pointless to even discuss the plot in any detail. You have some martial arts masters who take in younger trainees with questionable morals, and some bad guy (who's bad . . . just because) tries to steal a special sword. If you've seen a number of wuxia films, there's nothing new that you're going to see here. The conflicts do not have a lasting dramatic impact, which means that you're basically just waiting for the next action sequence.

    But fortunately, there are a number of good fights that are peppered throughout. The director here is Yuen-Woo Ping, who previously directed a bunch of entertaining action films in Hong Kong – a few of which include Iron Monkey (1993), In the Line of Duty 4 (1989), Tiger Cage (1988), and Drunken Master (1978). More recently he's been known for his action choreography in films such as The Matrix trilogy, Kill Bill, and the first Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon film. In terms of action, this guy knows what he's doing. Also, Sword of Destiny has some legitimate action movie stars with Donnie Yen and Michelle Yeoh. So you have some serious talent both in front of and behind the camera here, so the fights are generally good. The best of which involve Donnie Yen on an iced-over pond and Michelle Yeoh in a dark room (fighting a witch). There is use of wires (as expected) and some use of CGI (but not too much). Sometimes it does look a bit cartoony. There's nothing here that will rival the Ip Man films or The Raid films in terms of sheer awesomeness, but I found the action to be generally entertaining. And there was enough of it to make up for its dramatic flaws.
  • I went into "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny" (SoD) with a mix of expectations. I remember loving "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (CTHD) went I saw it. How would this sequel match up? Actually, really well.

    To begin, let's remove some false assumptions. Many are upset about the film being in English, unlike the original which was in Mandarin. But there are reasons for this that extend far beyond "Americanizing." In CTHD, some of the stars were not native Mandarin speakers and their accents were heavy. This led to ridicule in China. I believe that the English language filming is an attempt to correct that. Better to have a good foreign language dub than actors who struggle on film, in my opinion.

    Furthermore, some have said that the fighting wasn't as good. One review I read said that the heroes had become super-heroes. I disagree. There is actually much less wuxia flying and more straight-forward combat. Is it stylized? Certainly. That's part of the genre. But it seems more grounded to me, than super-heroic. CTHD had some excellent fight scenes! But the star wasn't a trained martial artist and his moves looked clunky at times. Not so here. Donnie Yen is in top form and delivers a solid performance. It is especially satisfying to see him alongside Michelle Yeoh (the only carry over actor from CTHD). They fight and act well together.

    But, SoD is more than fighting. The narrative is key here. In fact, the story for SoD is, in some ways, superior than CTHD. The story and character arcs build on what went before, so we find out more about the previous characters. Furthermore, some of the new characters have deeper connections and more layered stories.

    The biggest difference between SoD and CTHD is the cinematography. At the risk of the oversimplification, CTHD seemed more artsy. That doesn't means SoD looks bad. It's just a different, more modern style. There are some breathtaking landscape shots that give the story scope! The film could also have been a little longer. There are some minor characters that I wish we would have been able to see more of before the end.

    The direction, acting, fighting, and soundtrack all work well together, giving us a great film. For me, "Sword of Destiny" is an excellent follow up to the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Being an Asian American, I have watched a lot of Asian movies, ranging from Chinese films to Korean films. And let me tell you, Sword of Destiny is none of those.

    The scenery just felt so fake. The CGI was just a little bit over the top for me. The film should have kept true to the original with a Chinese background that shows off the beauty of China. But instead, we get a New Zealand landscape with the aid of a CGI green screen. Hmm...reminds me of The Hobbit.

    As for the acting, everything was just alright when it comes to the main characters. Nothing was fantastic at all about the acting. Michelle's acting and level of emotion was 3xs better in the original film! As for Donnie, you can tell he tried his best (and I love Donnie). The acting of all the extras was just terrible. Donnie's character and Michelle's had no chemistry like Fat's character in the original. Everything felt rush, especially the ending. At the end of the movie, you're sitting there like "THATS IT?!". As for the fight scenes, it was decently good. I feel like most of the credit should go to Donnie because of his intensive background in martial art.

    The most disappointing part about the movie was that the original language they used was in English. What?! This is suppose to be a Chinese film and the English language does not sound as beautiful when speaking in poetic dialogs. It just sounds awkward. In my opinion, everything was a little to Westernize and not authentic. I felt like the concepts of the movie was copy from the Netflix show Marco Polo.

    1 star for excellent Donnie's martial art skills 1 star for recasting Michelle 1 star for "trying" to bring up scenes from the original for plot connection 1 star for the second leading female actress, Natasha. Her acting was pretty good actually.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Bearing a legendary name can be either a blessing or a curse, "Sword of Destiny" is bound to be compared with its Oscar level predecessor. To be fair, the lack of Ang Lee's visual vision is truly apparent and the movie operates on smaller production as well, however that doesn't take away from its identifiable stylish choreography. This is a solid action martial art movie that is burdened by the legacy and expectation of its name.

    Story resonates with the first movie in more ways than one. It has a couple of estranged romance plots in the backdrop of martial art world, which feels like an attempt to replicate the already proved formula. It's admittedly difficult not to be haunted by the ghost of the original, specifically since it doesn't have the same caliber of chemistry, for example the mentor-student relationship is clearly inferior to those of Chow Yun Fat and Zhang Ziyi had.

    Still, "Sword of Destiny" has a couple of surprises. It works better when it's trying to develop something of its own, although it's a difficult endeavor since the movie utilizes so many nostalgia angles. The subplot with younger couple is decent, it's one of the flashbacks which doesn't feel encumbering.

    The antagonist side is actually interesting, with more sinister villain and henchmen. The female assassin is intriguingly strong, perhaps more than the ragtag army from opposite side. It also has strange witch character who gives prophecy. In a way the movie has archaic oriental touch like that of Dragon Tiger Gate. Unfortunately, they are not given more spotlight beyond typical bad guys.

    Without Ang Lee, the visual is certainly different. The original had such gripping vistas, even more enchanted by the characters leaping through the air. That sense of liberation is now more constrained in plain or dark spaces. However, "Sword of Destiny" will not disappoint in the fighting department, in fact this is a more than decent showing for Wu Xia.

    The action choreography is appropriately done. There's a benefit in having Woo Yuen Ping as director as he knows how to implement the scenes with fluidity. Fight scenes are gripping and intense, using the mix of blinding fast as well as technique strikes. It's one of the better displays of martial art genre, even compared to higher budget titles.

    "Sword of Destiny" deals with the same predicament as the characters, it's haunted by the legend of Li Mu Bai, which is an inherited risk of donning the name "Crunching Tiger Hidden Dragon". It's quite unfortunate since it might distract audience from what is a good stylish action movie on its own.

    PS: It seems Netflix version is in English, but the one shown in IMAX has Chinese dub with English subtitle.
  • I didn't have high expectation going into this since I knew it would never live up to the the (perfect) prequel and after I watched the trailer my expectation was lowered even further.

    The film is colored from start to finish like an Instagram filter with the colors all weird. In the opening scene I had to check if it actually was my setup that was the sinner - but unfortunately it wasn't. The scenery was also very lacking compared to the original and looked very fake because of CGI instead of real scenery.

    The English speaking feels out of place and varies between the actors. Netflix did not allow me to use the Chinese dub which was added post filming.

    The plot was very thin and the characters where bland and I did not feel a connection to any of them. The whole movie was centered around the fighting scene - which it had plenty of and some of them totally trivial, just for the sake of it. The fighting scenes were no where near as beautiful and artistic like the original.
  • Obviously their was a decent production budget and energy spend on this martial arts movie set in ancient China. Much effort went into (re)creating sets, costumes and choreography. That's the good part...

    However, it's out of place to go through all the effort to evoke a historical time period, only to let all Chinese characters speak English (in a time period where only very few Chinese intellectuals would be able to speak any other other language than Chinese). Either the producers didn't have faith in a movie audience to read subtitles or to accept a movie with any other spoken language than English. The original movie did manage to do that however: to appeal as well to a mainstream audience AND lovers of exotic foreign language martial arts movies.

    Sword of Destiny doesn't do anything which hasn't been done much better before. Martial Arts in itself as a genre, having being so popular mainly in the 70s and 80s has explored about any camera angle, fast montage and special effect. Tarantino already directed the ultimate homage in Kill Bill.

    Sword of Destiny, although with some credits to the production in itself never amazes, unless you've never seen a martial arts movie before. Like in the previous Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon there is a lot of cable work and floating going on. As if fast paced and shot martial arts scenes weren't enough, in this series the fighting characters are elevated to near super heroes, resulting in choreography and fighting scenes which aren't credible anymore.

    This is exactly where for instance Bruce Lee-flicks were far superior: as a viewer you saw incredible sequences but yet they remained credible. In Sword of Destiny the character has seized to be human and becomes a fantasy.

    Sword of Destiny finally ends up being neither: too slick to be accepted by a die hard audience of authentic martial arts movies, too Americanized to appeal to lovers of historical art house costume movies.

    Going through all the effort to evoke an ancient Chinese period and let all Chinese characters speak English is simply foolish.

    Sword of Destiny is exactly where American mainstream cinema has gone wrong: in a cash-in attempt to 'Americanize' classics in other countries, they end up with would-be blockbusters without soul or authenticity what so ever. You watch it, you forget it: it's not good, not super bad either, it ends up being a movie you hardly remember the next day, unlike the original.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    With the exception of the beautiful black and white, slo-mo prologue narrated by Michelle Yeoh, and a later scene in the ice that has its moments, there isn't much to enjoy in this movie.

    This is what you get when you take the original movie, CGI-it to oblivion (even the Green Destiny has this horrible video-game feel to it with the faded green inscriptions now vivid green). The fact that the all-Asian cast speaks English, this completely foreign, Western language feels like a sore thumb - it takes you out of the movie frequently. (The same could be said regarding Amadeus, of course, but the sheer excellence of that film and the fact that you're switching a Western language for another does not really affect your viewing experience.)

    Furthermore, a bunch of paper-thin characters, defined mainly by their appearance and fighting skills rather than any discernible personality traits, die like flies only a few scenes after being introduced (and we get other characters mourning for them which is a terrible attempt at making us care).

    The Green Destiny sword, a powerful storytelling device in the first movie, is relegated to the background, only to be used in the very last scenes, without showing its true abilities. It becomes a pretty sword in a box.

    Now, the most laughable aspect of the movie is its "villain". To call him bland would be an understatement. He has practically no personality, being reduced to owning a ridiculous tower and an ugly serrated sword.

    After enduring this movie, it is evident that in the same way law students have to pass an exam to become lawyers, screenwriters above all should pass a very strict test on the basics of storytelling.
  • Great movie except that i would have given it 10 of 10 if it had been kept to mandarin spoken, English subtitled. The authenticity and collaboration to first crouching tiger movie would have been more likable and realistic if they had spoken mandarin. Also some of the characters seem cut from the B movie genre. Their acting skills lack the presence this movie deserves. The dialogue gives it a comedic feel at times which wasn't present in the first film. Keeping with a serious tone throughout would have paid great homage to CTHD 1. I am glad the movie is finally done and released. Its been a long time coming since the announcement of the intent to do a second film. Although nothing could replace the first story of the Green Destiny Sword or Li Mu Bai this film is a great movie and and excellent boost for Netflix.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I believe my lowest score yet for a movie. This movie is quite bad in man, many ways. I most heart wrenching change for me is the change to use English instead of Chinese. This change loses its appeal quickly. English is not a very poetic language compare to many others.

    In short this movie has low production values and average acting. I will summed them in pros/cons below, starting with the Cons as there are quite many.

    CONS: 1. CGI is above average, not well done and not very believable in many scenes. Pales to movies decades ago.

    2. Fighting Choreography is sub-par, slow at times. The use of the slow motion is awkward.

    3. English language does not fit well with the setting at all. It just doesn't. The language itself is spoken coarsely and rightly so. But I can understand the reason for it. A very poor choice.

    4. Acting by all cast members are not very good. Michelle is not very good, as always. Her character in the original was much better, passive but still has the sense of power and passion. The English dialogue makes them worse, especially the romantic parts.

    5. Cinematography is average. The panning and views are no where near the quality of the first. Some camera angles and panning are not only awkward at times but terrible :/ 6. The setting of the era is too clean and touch up. By touch up I mean it has been glossy up to look pretty and clean, similar to that of photos. This "gloss" obviously affects the colors of the movie including the sunlight. In fact, in scenes where there is a sunrise/sun down you have this misty, glossy scene instead. The background becomes almost like a blur painting.

    Most characters are "clean", even the poor and dirty ones. Thus it does not add to the setting at all.

    7. Very scripted story that is not very believable. For example the meeting of the warriors and fight at the restaurant with Donny. I had to laugh at this scene. Story tries way too hard to emulate some of the points that worked in the first movie. They come out pale and empty in most cases.

    8. Music is too simplistic, too modernized with the heavy use of violin and piano.

    9. Longer than expected.

    PROS: 1. Movie is made which I'm glad.
  • Sequels in general, tend to be overshadowed by the original releases with few exceptions.

    Having a strong cast and an excellent director, on the other hand, had me positively excited in anticipation for this release!! Unfortunately, scene after scene, character after character, my dismay kept growing, into a huge disappointment, leaving me thinking.. What did I just watch?

    A B-movie with a pile of money thrown into it? I will try and forget this ever happened. Crouching tiger hidden dragon, has its legacy and following. Hope this will not be ever related to the original masterpiece. Hollywood has repeatedly demonstrated its difficulty in understanding different cultures... If you can't do it right, just leave it. Please?
  • I would give the first Crouching Tiger film 10/10 (I would rarely give 10/10 for any film; (Jet Li's "Fearless" is another)) for its action, emotion and sheer brilliance of its time. A wonderful piece of film making! This film doesn't live up to its predecessor, hence, only an 8/10, but again the action and emotion are present here and there are some lovely, heart-warming moments of back story as the relationships begin to form and unfold. I would have given it a 7/10 really, but the extra point is for the tears that it managed to bring to my eyes in a couple of places and the extremely well choreographed fight scenes and effects.

    I do have a gripe though, and that is the film should have been about two and a quarter hours long so the characters could have been developed more, especially with Snow being taught and her skills developed. After the movie finished it felt like it had been a little rushed. It's a sequel that's been a long time coming and much anticipated. I would have liked to have been immersed in it, and to have savoured it for a little longer like a fine quality Silver Needle Peony instead of the finest quality Pai Mu Tan.
  • To be clear, this movie shares a bit of a plot with the first, however the two are very different. I'm disappointed, because I was expecting a sequel, however once I just accepted this for what it was (A Hollywoodified remake) I started to enjoy it. My biggest disappointments come from terrible music score, why not just use the same one or maybe an altered arrangement? the score is generic martial arts movie.

    Secondly, far too much CGI, from fights, to stunts to locations. Just very jarring.

    Overall, this movie just tried so so hard to be more epic than the first, however lacked a vision, a poetic feeling and spiritual message like the first. Enjoy it for some brainless fun and some OK fight scenes, but don't expect it to be anything like the first.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The 1st movie made and most striking, emotional one out of the bookseries, tho non sequential to the authors was epic (Crouching Tiger,Hidden Dragon). Admit I feel a sincere disappointment in the fact this (follow up) was not in Mandarin. It would have added oh so much more to the film. If only Ang Lee had been the director this would have reached and touched just as large an audience as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, not linguisticually but cinematically as well. Had high hopes, shot down like a bird of prey. Will always love the original by A.Lee. Yet literally a wee mix as is non-chron, storywise and cinematically he made it a masterpiece pref to this. Thank you Ang Lee for your C.T.H.D. it was magic on screen and shall remain a classic. Thank you.
  • kosmasp8 February 2017
    A kind of a throwback with characters that may remind you of Shaw Brothers movies. So it tries to combine the old with some new stuff. Especially the fact that this was filmed in English may alienate some people. But overall I do believe it works. It does have a returning Michelle Yeoh (ageless) who is great in this too. In addition we get Donnie Yen and his craftsmanship.

    The action choreography is good and there is flying again (so if you didn't like the first one or thought it was ridiculous and "unreal", don't watch this either). The story is simple and while Yeoh's character admits that at one point, she almost redacts her point entirely at the end. Some may say she changed her mind. Whatever it is, the movie is more than decent enough, while never reaching the heights of the original (no pun intended).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one of my favourite movies of all time, so I was naturally thrilled when I heard that a sequel was finally being made. But then, as details emerged about Sword of Destiny (modest budget, Ang Lee and Zhang Ziyi not returning, switching the language from Chinese to English, limited theatrical release), I knew it wouldn't measure up to its predecessor. I adjusted my expectations accordingly and that's probably the key to enjoy this movie. Forget that it's a supposed sequel to that stunning masterpiece, otherwise you're heading for a bitter disappointment.

    Sword of Destiny veers considerably towards being a much more generic, fantasy-flavoured martial arts flick, but if you embrace it as such, it's not that bad, at all. The parallels with Star Wars (love vs. duty, good warrior monks vs. evil ones á la Jedi vs. Sith, extremely talented 'chosen ones' with clouded future) are just as apparent here as they were in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but this time with a bit of Lord of the Rings (and Seven Samurai) thrown into the mix, as well. (I love both Star Wars and LOTR, so these are always welcome for me.) The visuals are actually a lot better than I expected. The movie looks beautiful, and in parts, it does have poetic qualities and a sense of grand scope, despite the overall feel of a made-for-TV picture. I know it sounds contradictory, but that was my impression.

    What surprised me the most was the great epic potential of the story. Don't get me wrong, Sword of Destiny never realises that potential, but it does pique your interest. It makes you want to read Wang Dulu's pentalogy, to know more about the characters that the movie unfortunately fails to make you care about, and the backstories it touches upon too briefly. It is too condensed, too rushed, and it does contain some cheap clichés (especially in the final battle). It's not that there are too many or too long action sequences. They are fine as they are (and again, very well-choreographed). The rest is missing - that wonderful, epic story that is only suggested here. Now, if there was a three-hour director's cut… I'd definitely want to see it. But that's just a dream.
  • One of the worst sequels in movie production! AVOID @ ALL COSTS!!

    This film is a joke. First of all, when a Chinese film not in its original language(same to any country's film) is dubbed with English instead of just providing with the English subtitles, then it just felt so weird. And it became even worse that actors, leading or not leading, female or male, most of them speaking Chinglish with some heavy Oriental accent that made the dubbed English dialog became weirder and weirder. *History Channel's "Vikings" got similar dilemma, those Vikings speaking weird VIKIGLISH to separate them from the Wessex English speaking opponents : )

    But this film is not just ruined by dubbed audio, the poor and awkward dialog in English is such a painful viewing experience. The screenplay is so awkward and childish, the scenario and the plot absurd, the acting of all the roles were messed up by the terrible dialog and the story.

    The whole film just looks stupid by poor directing. Terrible terrible dialog along with the horrible script unavoidably making the whole film more pretentious and shallow. This film actually got nothing to do with the year 2000 original film but a fake and phony one just trying to fool people as a sequel, in fact, not at all.

    Again, the poorly crafted dialog of this film would only make you feel like a poor Shakespeare's drama played on a stage, the funny and unnatural dialog just ruined everything. This is not just a huge fake sequel, it's absolutely poorly directed with poor cast, most of them simply could not act at all, just an unthinkable and unwatchable brain-dead joke.

    An ultimate insult to the great novel, its author and to the first adapted film from the novel as well as its director.
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