Hero Reviews

Page 1 of 569
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2007
While I wasn't very much engaged in the story, what really got to me were the insane battle scenes, scenery and overall style of the film. Worth watching.
Super Reviewer
½ April 14, 2011
I may not be a giant fan of wuxia, but I can appreciate an insanely detailed & stunningly beautiful film. Narratively speaking, it isn't the most engaging of films. However, it is an exercise in lavish cinematography in which Christopher Doyle does not disappoint. From the fight scene on the lake to the battle in the palace, one cannot help but be swept up in the exquisite color schemes & the stirring shot compositions.
Super Reviewer
October 20, 2006
A lone warrior enters the palace of his emperor and tells the tale of how he defeated the three most feared assassins in the land. The most obviously striking element of Hero is its sheer visual beauty as it is packed to brimming with stunning costumes, colours and sets and uses the same kind of graceful wirework that we encountered in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The fight choreography is also beautifully executed making for a very poetic martial arts film. Although clearly languishing in the back seat of Zhang Yimou's concept, the plot is actually a rather interesting hybrid of Rashomon and The Usual Suspects which adds a different twist to the usual "heroic warriors making noble sacrifices" formula of this type of thing. Because Zhang is so concerned with the visuals, the flashback format does mean that we don't really get enough time to get to know the protagonists which means there's little in the way of emotional involvement but as a sheer visual spectacle, Hero is second to none.
Super Reviewer
September 18, 2011
Inspired by the assassination attempt on the King of Qin in 227 BC, Hero is a visual, emotional, social, and political triumph that overwhelmingly marvels with rhythmic movements, metrical narrative, and picturesque cinematography amplified by a palette of contrasting colors. Overwhelming.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2011
This movie is truly a feast for the eyes. The fights are expertly choreographed and brilliantly filmed. These, combined with vibrant colors, turn the gravity-defying nature of the fights into a graceful art.

Their are many beautiful scenes in this movie. One scene shows the protaganist Nameless(Jet Li) and Broken Sword(Tony Leung) sword battling while jumping on water. Another scene consists of a city getting showered with arrows while a calligraphy school goes on with their daily tasks.

All this would mean little, however, if the movie didn't have a great story to back up the visually-exciting scenes. The story is mainly told through flashbacks as we see Nameless's journey of revenge to kill the Emperor. The story is brilliantly told and can be emotionally charging at times. Everybody in the film gives a great performance.

Even if one is not a fan of martial arts films, this film should still be given viewing. The film gives the audience great fight scenes, art house cinemetography, and a compelling story.
Super Reviewer
June 4, 2007
Not my cup of tea. Too "epic," too magic-steeped to make way for any kind of story or character development. I can't stand watching action sequences for too long, and this is stuffed to the brim with pointless kung fu.
Super Reviewer
½ January 3, 2009
Looks like Crouching Tiger but plays out like Run Lola Run through a series of scenarios designed to keep us (the viewers) on our toes. Hero is admirably entertaining in spite of the fact that the whole sub-genre of gravity defying martial art films is wearing a little thin.
Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2011
What a cast! As some of you may know who've seen my past comments, I'm not a huge fan of wire work in martial arts movies, but I think it is spectacularly appropriate in this movie, in the same way it adds a great deal of visual excitement and poetic imagery in order to move the story along in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Wire work simply for the sake of wire work pretty much undermines the purpose of martial arts movies. What I really want to see is some very accomplished practitioner, like Jet Li, do his thing without any kind of bogus wire enhancement. Practitioners like Li are so stunning all on their own that wire work is often superfluous, even distractingly stupid, in many films. There are loads of beautiful martial arts scenes here that are greatly enhanced by said wire work. Two fine examples of how good it can be when done right are the sorrowful lake fight between Li and Tony Leung, and the one-sided forest fight between Ziyi Zhang and Maggie Cheung -- neither of which actually take place, apparently. As such they present themselves along the lines of lies or dreams, and the wire work enhances these fabrications leading to the playing out of Li's grand deception. Definitely worth seeing multiple times. Again, what a cast! In the history of martial arts films, this one stands out as being among the very best.
Super Reviewer
½ January 15, 2007
the film gets even better with extra viewings, the photography and use of color were mesmerizing and the action sequences shot extremely well. the film suffered from redundancy by necessity due to the story, but the idea and execution were phenomenal.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2006
A compelling story rooted in history, strong performances, thrilling action sequences, and absolute gorgeous cinematography join forces to create this beautiful and entertaining film that is a real work of art. As wonderful (and wonderful to look at) as this movie is, I'm refraining from giving a higher grade because even though the wire work is cool, I got tired of it. I would prefer less wire work and more swordplay grounded in reality. Wire work in and of itself is cool, but sometimes I would prefer less artsy farsty and whimsy.

I do appreciate the stylized nature of thigns though, and see a lot of this as haunting and beautiful poetry, but it was hard for me to really get in the mood with people flying around. For all my bitching though, I have to give major props to the choreographers-this is some crazy stuff to do and do well. Our story concerns a man who supposedly killed three assassins. While telling his sotry to the king, the true nature of events begins to be revealed. In a way, it seemed like Rashomon to me, which is cool and warranted.

Li and the cast do a great job, and it is nice for me to see him in a non-American film as that is something I rarely get to experience. I am now feeling like I should see mroe films like this. The camera work, as stated above, is brialliant, and perhaps the best thing this film has going for it. This is a real feast for the eyes and ears, and the better screen and audio systems you have, the better this is. This is a film that deserves to be seen in a theater with state of the art technology. I'm bummed that I had to watch it on my tiny TV.

The music is just as sweeping and poetic as the visuals, and complements things nicely. The story, while good, is a bit muddled though, so you have to pay attention, whic h can be hard if you have to read subtitles. All told, this is an incredible and unique film, but it left me drained, but also wanting more. A little more coherence, and a little morew realism, and this would be a real masterpiece on all levels.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2010
4 stars
Super Reviewer
August 17, 2010
Easily one of the best movies I've seen. Nothing more really needs to be said.
Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2010
Extremely beautiful and one of the most interesting ways to tell a plot, in many ways it flatlines Rashomon's manipulative narrative. The fight sequences are so incredible, defying the laws of physics themselves, I never thought i'd see two men swordfight on water. Jet Li brings such power to the role of Nameless, the greatest anchient assassin. Everyone else in the movie is great too, which I frankly wasn't expecting. This isn't hokey or outlandish, it's serious and emotional. Best of all, it gives action epics a great name.
Super Reviewer
½ July 23, 2010
Super Reviewer
½ January 29, 2008
Gorgeous film with terrific performances.
Super Reviewer
½ October 15, 2009
After two years of hearing about the myth of the most expensive Chinese film ever made, Hero has finally floated on to British cinema screens. As it flies, it trails a coloured cloth that carries the film's numerous morals and messages which descend upon you like a soft layer of fabric. This is a film that can lift your spirits and have you laughing out in sheer joy as you gaze in wonder at the perfection of the mise-en-scene and cinematography. That is, if you let the film take you on a journey, without pondering the films questionable plot points.

Hero is two sides of a tale as presented by Nameless (Jet Li), a mere Prefect who defeated three deadly assassins, and the King of Qin (Daoming Chen), the man the assassins wished to kill. Nameless weaves his heroic though modest story of how he killed the assassins, but the King remains unconvinced, spinning his own version of how he believed events unfolded.

Director Yimou Zhang takes us through Nameless' story first, spreading the battle sequences thick, allowing them to take their own time. In the King's version, certain battles are then revised, which is remarkably brave considering that some battles are utter fabrications. In one such fictitious fight, in a faultlessly designed set, Nameless and Sky (Donnie Yen) close their eyes and fight out the battle within their minds. Screen time is being spent lavishly on showing how two characters contemplated a fight, whilst fighting each other in a battle that never occurred. It is confusing certainly, but perhaps Zhang wished for his audience to get lost in the plot's design so that they would not question the warrantability of half of the battle sequences, which make up most of the film.

Yet, it is difficult to ponder these details when they are made so utterly insignificant when viewing such a spectacle. The sheer beauty of the battles, the gentle floating of the assassins as they fly around their arenas (which range from a forest full of orange leafed trees, crisp leaves falling down to the ground like rain, to the crystal clear and calm of a mountain lake), the costumes of characters at varying stages in the story line (red for passion, green for youth, white for truth, blue for love), the amazing army scenes which feature thousands of arrows being fired into the sky to create a black cloud that descends right on top of the camera, all these elements combine to produce a faultlessly perfect image on the screen, each frame a worthy photograph that gently reminds you why cinema is the greatest art form of the twentieth century.

And characterisation is not lost in this beauty as one may have feared. Despite the irritating two dimensional performance of Zhang Ziyi as Moon, the other actors carry off fine performances, especially Tony Leung Chiu Wai as Broken Sword and Daoming Chen as the King. Their performances are especially credible as they are often drowning in the memories of the King and Nameless - they need to change slight mannerisms in order to reflect whose mind they are now in.

The script too is of an impressively high standard. The moments of clarity that the warriors feel are experienced by the audience also, and there are some very informed outlooks of the emptiness of warfare, communicating that to achieve peace, sometimes war is the only option. These messages of course seem fitting in our current times, underlining how ancient some of the methods of our governing body truly are.

Hero is undoubtedly a most beautiful and awe inspiring film. What it lacks in plot substance, it makes up for with structure and script. It elaborates on the ground work created by 'Crouching Tiger' and is an experience that I would encourage you to seek out, as long as you are willing to submit to the film and let it guide you through its world on its own terms.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2007
There is a plot to kill the king. Amazing scenery, fights and costumes. I like the vibrant colours and vast magnitude of the people scenes.
Super Reviewer
½ February 9, 2007
Leaving aside any possible "ambigous-commie-oriented" profile the movie could have, this is still a great wuxia flick in all the right areas. Excellent cast, good direction from Zhang Yimou and great (if anything a bit already repetitive) photography from Christopher Doyle. Still the best in the "wuxia trilogy" from Yimou.
Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2006
I'm not a huge fan of wire work, so that part of the film didn't particularly impress me too much, however I thought the use of colour was very impressive and visually effective and there were also a few subtle, yet impressive special effects, especially with the water scene.

I've heard great things said about this film and I do think the swordsmanship and choreography were enjoyable, however, my preference of Martial Arts films is defintely a little more hands on, with plain raw talent, agility and fighting using the body.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2007
The fight scenes are good, but are nothing compared to those of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. The story is a rip-off of Rashomon, only way more unnescessarily complicated. Beautiful to look at though, and Donnie Yen is in it. You don't know who he is, but I'll recommend any movie he's in.
Page 1 of 569