Skip to main content

#WelcomeToMarwen New Trailer & Character Posters

Movie Review:'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny'

Outside of great action sequences, the weak sequel fails to keep our attention.

Review by Matt Cummings

To say that 2000's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is still a beloved film might be an understatement. The winner of four Oscars and nominated for six more, the film was a worldwide sensation, proving that Kung-Fu wasn't skin deep and that character dramas could exist quite well alongside insanely good action. But that was nearly two decades ago: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny barely warrants our attention, reminding us that sometimes follow-ups are hampered by the original, and other times betrayed by their own motives.

Set 20 years after the death of Li Mu Bai, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, sees our heroine Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) living a life of solitude. While travelling to the funeral of an old friend, her convoy is attacked by the powerful Hades Dai (Jason Scott Lee). With the help of an unknown ally (Donnie Yen), Lien is able to escape, only to learn that the clan is after Bai's famed Green Destiny sword. Realizing that the funeral will itself turn into a bloodbath, Lien sends word out to her Iron Way comrades, which draws only five but very capable individuals. Led by the memories of her past and the destructive history behind Green Destiny, Lien must protect Green Destiny before Dai's team can seize it for their leader.

Destiny's problems begin early, as we never really get to know anyone except for our love interests. We don't understand how Hades Dai plans to use Green Destiny or why the sword is still revered as an ancient version of a WMD. The original explored that enough to make you think Green Destiny was actually alive. Not here: it's just a strong sword who in anyone's hands wouldn't be any better than if they had brought a lesser-made sword to the same party. Destiny also fashions the thinnest love story possible between Lien and Shadow, who were supposed to marry before Li Mu Bai entered the picture. Yen and Yeoh enjoy good chemistry, but there's simply not enough in Writer John Fusco's chintzy script. Those problems follow almost every character, holding back their potential in ways too numerous to count. Everyone becomes a caricature, from the drunken warrior to the beautiful assassin with perfect skin.

But Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny isn't all bad. Director Yuen Woo-ping provides us a lot of his textbook choreography, all of which we drink in like we've been walking through a desert of lesser action. In this way, Asian cinema has us beat. Destiny is also a beautiful film, enjoying a dual-format release (theatrical and on Netflix) and showing off 4k bleed-down in minute details. Ping provides us with fantastic action sequences, including quite an entrance for Yen. But that's where the comparison with its predecessor flatly ends, as Destiny soon becomes just another Kung-Fu flick, complete with cheesy lines and a tone that whipsaws between pretend serious and nearly slapstick. The original succeeded because it took the best elements out of the genre and merged it with a quality story. I know there's one in there, but it's pretty deeply buried.

The end of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny certainly suggests that we'll be receiving a third film, something that I think only superfans of either the franchise or the genre would care to know. This one is disappointing enough that a much more serious conclusion is the only way I'll pay attention. This one certainly isn't awful, but it utterly lacks a comparison to the original.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny is rated PG-13 for martial arts violence and brief partial nudity and has a runtime of 96 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Movie Review: #MissSloane

The political drama Miss Sloane fails to lobby us into Oscar territory.
Review by Matt Cummings
In a time when women were supposed to be leading our country, Miss Sloane arrives to remind us of what could have been. Unfortunately, this message about a headstrong female Washington lobbyist loses us early with an unappealing director, a paper-thin plot, and suffers from a ton of convenient realism. If the good (but not impressive) performances weren't there to buffer these and many other gaps, we might have found ourselves voting for impeachment.

For Washington lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), life is about getting her clients what they want from the halls of Congress. Her boss Dupont (Sam Waterston) will sleep with NRA types, fudge travel records, and bully smaller firms into submission if it means a hearty paycheck at day's end. But when Sloane leaves the company to push Gun Control legislation with one of those smaller firms, Dupont turns to his bulldog Co…

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See WARCRAFT In Dallas

Enter for a chance to see WARCRAFT on June 7th at 7:00 PM in Dallas.

From Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures comes Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment's global phenomenon.


The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home.

So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.


Directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and written by Charles Leavitt and Jones, the film starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Rob Kazinsky and Daniel Wu is a Legendary Pic…

Bethany Ashton Wolf¹s FOREVER MY GIRL ACQUIRED BY @roadsidetweets

Forever My Girl tells the story of country music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, Liam is suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind.

Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment partner for their 7th collaboration with Roadside’s domestic distribution acquisition of Bethany Ashton Wolf’s uplifting family romance Forever My Girl, it was jointly announced today by Roadside Attractions co-founders Howard Cohen & Eric d’Arbeloff, and Mickey Liddell of LD Entertainment. Forever My Girl will be released wide in theaters on October 27, 2017.

The two companies previously collaborated on numerous films including multiple Academy Award® nominee …