By now everyone would probably heard enough compliments on the visual elements of Zhang Yimou’s House of Flying Daggers; therefore, I don’t need to slap any more paints on his canvas. Similar to his previous film, Hero, the images are extraordinary. Unfortunately, the story is ordinary compare to the complexity of Hero. In fact, the love triangle is typical for any Chinese film.
Zhang Ziyi, plays Mei, is the engine that drives the film. The moment she is introduced on screen, the attention is on her. Her rare beauty takes the pain and the exhaustion away from Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and Leo (Andy Lau) who try to kill each other during the final duel. And yes! She is worth fighting for even when the weather changes from the gorgeous spring sunshine to the nasty winter blizzards. Zhang’s performance is superior even though she bears too much skin for a traditional Chinese film.
As for Jin (not Ruff Riders’ Jin) and Leo characters, the two actors should have switched their roles. Andy Lau could have given a greater performance as Leo than Takeshi Kaneshiro. Lau is an experienced actor who can express his emotions to the fullest, and Jin would fit him perfectly. Kaneshiro is undoubtedly a handsome guy and he is good, but does not have the charisma that Lau has.
Despite the cheesy storyline, House of Flying Daggers is still entertaining. Both the creative “echo game” and the innovative “bamboo battle” will provide viewers an aesthetic experience. Furthermore, any film directed by Zhang Yimou is guaranteed to be beautiful.