Running time: 119 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 15
UK Release Date: 14th January 2005
Watched on DVD Thursday 24th June 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: POSSIBLE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I have watched a few foreign language films this year, more than usual, I guess I must be finding them interesting. They are certainly different to anything coming out of Hollywood that’s for sure. This one, not surprisingly, is no different. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the best film ever made, but it’s still very innovative and well worth the time taken to view it.
Xiao Mei is a blind dancer working at a high end brothel. Jin and Leo are two soldiers who believe she is the daughter of the, now dead, leader of the rebel group known as the House of Flying Daggers. In order to find the new leader, the pair decides to seduce Mei in the hope she will lead them to their quarry. So Mei is taken prisoner and Jin, dressed as an assassin, rescues her and they set off. Mei is wary of Jin until the second time they are attacked by a group of soldiers bent on killing them both and he saves her life. I don’t want to say too much more, but there are more surprises to come in this tale of love and revenge.
A visually stunning film, I can’t praise the cinematography too much. The fight sequences are all extremely well done also along with the special effects that were used. Very good performances from all of the leading cast, Takeshi Kaneshiro as Jin, Andy Lau as Leo, Ziyi Zhang as Xiao Mei and Dandan Song as Yee.
I liked the way the film started and I liked the middle section, but, for me, the ending seemed to lack the energy the preceding parts of the film showed. It’s almost like the focus was too much on the main event and the things that led up to it were forgotten. I’m trying very hard not to give too much away here, but I felt that a vital part of the story was left untold at the end. Having said that, it’s still very much worth seeing… Recommended!
My score: 7.8/10
IMDb Site: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0385004/
Official Site: http://www.sonyclassics.com/houseofflyingdaggers/trailer-open.html