Set in a pre-unified China, a nameless warrior (Jet Li) is being honored for defeating three of the king’s most dangerous enemies: Broken Sword (Tony Leung), Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung) and Moon (Zhang Ziyi). However, the emperor challenges the tales, presenting his own take on the suspect events.
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Spurred on by Jeanne-Claude & Christo's acres of floating fabric (joke), the luscious Hero brings to fruition the seedlings of art & craft education planted by Gropius a century ago: to train "a [then] new, hitherto unavailable type of collaborator for industry, craft and building who is the master equally of Technique and Form". Brushing aside the shade of indigestible content 'collaborator', then and now, conjures.
The stunning scenes can make me forgive the patriotism and ideology it carries. It starts by saying that the Qin ruler was ruthless and then becomes apologetics of the unification of the seven kingdoms that became China. The premise of the narrative works quite well. Each point of vue has a different color, and the story is retold and recreated visually with great cinematography. The soundtrack works perfectly.
While I dislike the pathos of heroism I admire this film for its marvelous and breathtaking photography as well as for the brilliant choreographed sequences with their nearly abstract appearance. Tan Dun's score is also worth regarding although Tan often re-uses the harmonic patterns from his music for Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".
Brilliant and beautiful. Hero has some of the most beautiful cinematography I have ever seen, but I expect nothing less from Zhang Yimou. Yes, it is highly historically inaccurate, and, yes, it does not stack up to Yimou's earlier films, but it's entertaining as hell. Like Scorsese, Yimou knows how to create a finely crafted genre film that's both classic but fresh and exciting.
Along with House of Flying Daggers, a testament to Zhang Yimou's inimitable mastery of cinematic affect--episodic cinematography with moment by moment impact. And like HOFD, the narrative is incidental.
90/100 - amazing.