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The visual splendor of the movie makes up for the weak story. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

The Tang Dynasty is fighting to keep control over China, a battle they are losing to several rebel groups. One such group is the House of Flying Daggers, who steal from the wealthy and give to the poor. Two police deputies working with the government (Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau) are ordered to investigate the dancer Mei (Zhang Ziyi), who is rumored to be working with the House of Flying Daggers. But both men fall under her charms and decide to help her escape instead.

Cast & Crew

Jun Guo
Performer
Shu Zhang
Performer
Weiping Zhang
Executive Producer
Zhenyan Zhang
Associate Producer
Shigeru Umebayashi
Original Music
Xiaoding Zhao
Cinematographer
Long Cheng
Film Editor
Tingxiao Huo
Production Design
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News & Interviews for House of Flying Daggers

Critic Reviews for House of Flying Daggers

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (150) | Rotten (22)

Audience Reviews for House of Flying Daggers

  • Aug 15, 2017
    House of Flying Daggers is yet another visually arresting martial arts classic. Zhang Yimou really is one of the best directors of this genre (I also recommend you watch Hero). This is a tale of love, betrayal and, again, some damn good swordplay. We follow Mei who is a member of the Flying Daggers, a underground group plotting against the government, who gets arrested until she is freed by a mysterious figure where she soon starts to fall in love. This really was a tragic film. By the end, I was so emotionally invested that the final scenes just killed me inside. Like taking out my heart and stabbing it with a dagger...a flying dagger...*ahem*. Exploring the themes of love, it conveys the lengths we go to be with the one we truly love. Interestingly the majority of this film is actually set in a woods, varied by autumnal trees and bamboo. Both make for some great action scenes, particularly the bamboo forest ambush. Yimou's utilisation of colours creates some visually splendid landscapes, again the bamboo forest uses several shades of green, both in natural aspects and the characters' attire. The production design truly excelled within the Peony Pavilion, where the costume design was also fantastic. The Echo Game scenes were inventive and splendid to watch. Zhang Ziyi, who is one of my favourite Chinese actresses, exhumed elegance, innocence and a sense a badassery. Her choreography was already exquisite, but having to do that without actually looking at the opponent (due to her character being blind) really showcases mastery of the art. The love triangle was beautifully crafted and held a glimpse of tenderness. A few gripes, I found the CGI projectiles to be jarring and too frequent. The story is not as grand as other martial art epics so may not be particularly engaging for everyone. Also the betrayals that are revealed towards the end seemed too convenient and didn't really impact me. However, this is another solid Chinese wuxia flick with a tragic love story that definitely makes you emotionally invested.
    Luke A Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2014
    This movie is beautiful to experience. The visuals are, in the most understated sense, magical. About 8 minutes I stopped caring about what was real and what was special effects, because everything just looked impossibly spectacular. The real feat of the movie is the sensual opera of sight and sound it created. The movement, color pallette and attention to detail is gorgeous. If I just watched all the action sequences without context, I would probably still be satisfied with the movie. The other aspects of the movie are just fair. The story may be formulaic, but there's nothing wrong with having a simple twisty plot. The only thing that really bothers me is that the film seems to be detached to its emotional center. The feelings of the characters are present, but they aren't discovered within their interaction or personalities, they just exist to be exposed and move the plot forward. This gets bothersome because a lot of time in the movie is given for us to try and accept these feelings, but in the end, we can't care genuinely enough for them to be concerned. Nonetheless, 'House of Flying Daggers' is a superb work of imagery. Is it worth watching again just to see pretty visuals? Certainly.
    Diego T Super Reviewer
  • Apr 23, 2013
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 11, 2012
    What's this crap, not even artistic I am sorry. It's a terrible martial art film
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer

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