I am a big fan of Hero. I even liked Curse of the Golden Chrysanthemum, and Zhang Yimou’s earlier efforts like Raise the Red Lantern. But this film left me wanting for more. Probably, I came in late into the picture.
Zhang Yimou movies are always picturesque and filled with great set-pieces. But they also tell a story. Most times a deep, philosophical ones. Here, however, the whole film is reduced to a series of fantastically mounted action set-pieces.
There is a story, a love triangle. But it’s overshadowed by the extended set-pieces – a fight in a brothel, a fight in a prison, a fight in the fields, a fight among the bamboo (which is ultimate, by the way).
It’s all great to look at, but when it all ends, we are not sufficiently moved.