In 2000, Ang Lee captured audiences’ attention and hearts with the release of his martial-arts epic “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” The film, with its seamless blend of dance-like choreography and mesmerizing martial arts, was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, and won four. Fans everywhere clamored for more, and after 16 years, their calls were answered. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny” hit select IMAX theaters and Netflix streaming in February 2016. But how could Lee possibly follow what many called a master stroke? With a superb cast and attention to detail.
Martial arts legends return to the screen
“Memoirs of a Geisha” star Michelle Yeoh reprised her role from the original “Crouching Tiger” to join the cast of the sequel. Of returning to the cast, Yeoh told USA Today, “It was just like old times.”
She’s joined by martial-arts film superstar Donnie Yen, best known for his portrayal of wushu master Yip Man in the trilogy “Ip Man.” Yen is staying busy, as the third installment of “Ip Man” was released December 2015 in Hong Kong. He switched roles from playing one master to another.
With this dynamic duo on screen together, it’s easy to see why martial-arts films fans are so excited.
The original “Crouching Tiger” was filmed in Mandarin with subtitles and voiceover for foreign audiences. With the sequel’s direct release to Netflix, however, fans can get a different experience. The movie was shot in English. USA Today noted the IMAX experience mirrors that of the original, as it’s in Mandarin.
Detailed and graceful action
Beautiful and perfectly executed fighting sequences are part of what drew audiences to the first “Crouching Tiger” film. Lee and choreographer Yuen Wu-ping used martial arts as a storytelling device to great effect. Audiences can expect the same care and consideration in the sequel’s choreography. Plus, with Yeoh and Yen driving the story, the execution is sure to be just as impressive.