REVIEW SUMMARY: Stylish martial arts film in the tradition of Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon but with several plot twists and a nice love story to boot.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A blind court dancer is jailed, then broken out by a mysterious warrior. Together they flee from the general’s troops to House of Flying Daggers.
PROS: Awesome combat sequences, breath-taking sets, plot twists keep you guessing, nice love story.
CONS: I can think of none.
BOTTOM LINE: Wonderful new-school martial arts romance.
The House of Flying Daggers is a rebel army that steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They send in blind Mei, to a brothel to pose as a dancer for an assassination attempt. Her plan is foiled and she is jailed, but is broken out by the warrior Jin. Together they attempt an escape back to the House of Flying Daggers, but things are not what they seem. Not even close!
As the title suggests, the film features a variety of projectile weapons, mostly daggers. Like the martial artists themselves, these weapons defy gravity and physics, and were generally shot from a camera following the weapon (aka Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.)
There was less flying around by the actors themselves, who relied more on acrobatics and special moves than aeronautics.
The sets were astounding. The scenes, both inside and out, were simply gorgeous, as were the costumes (and I almost never notice costumes in movies.)
Finally, the story does not disappoint. The plot is complex, but not understanding every intricacy of it shouldn’t take away from the enjoyment of the film as a whole.
In summary, I wouldn’t recommend this movie to my wife, even though I think she would enjoy the story, but wouldn’t buy into the fantasy-style martial arts. However, if you enjoy this type of movie even a little bit, you won’t be disappointed by House of Flying Daggers.