2:59 AM: Hero: Reviewed

I saw the move Hero tonight with Mark P. It was a wonderful movie, and I want to see it again as soon as possible. I liked it so much, in fact, that I decided to review it for The Plainsman.

Give me some pointers on how I can fix/edit/improve this review...I really want to make a good first impression, so I can start writing for The Plainsman on a weekly basis in the near future (yeah, i know the paragraphs aren't indented, but it only looks like that on here...blogger has some kind of vendetta against basic paragraph structure).

Matthew Parten
Hero Review

***½ stars (out of four)

Thank God for Quentin Tarantino. Without his public and financial support, Miramax would have never financed the domestic release of two of the greatest films to come out of Asia in the past decade: 2001's Iron Monkey and Hero, the 2002 Chinese historical epic recently released in American theaters for the first time.

Through slick, oscillating cinematography and breathtaking fight scenes, Director Yimou Zhang presents his own wildly entertaining, if not always historically accurate, account of the unification of China’s seven warring dynasties. The film focuses almost exclusively on the Qin Dynasty’s Napoleonic king and a nameless assassin, played by Jet Li, that may or may not be set on stopping him. Through a series of conflicting accounts we soon learn of the assassin’s defeat of three ninjas from a rival dynasty set on eliminating Qin’s king, and his motives for tracking them all down. The contradictory accounts eventually meld together into one definitive narrative, and we are treated to a series of tension filled Kung-Fu action sequences that lead up to a slightly ambiguous yet emotionally satisfying ending that should leave most moviegoers feeling fulfilled.

Hero’s conceptual and stylistic underpinnings owe a great deal to the gravity-defying action sequences of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the elliptical, multiple perspective storytelling of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashômon. Instead of trying to discourage these comparisons by westernizing the story with overstrung, gore filled fight scenes or a love interest for Jet Li’s nameless hero, Zhang wisely embraces all the production values, conventions, and techniques of the landmark films that influenced him the most.

While it may not be the most revolutionary movie ever made, Hero is much better than is has to be. It’s subtle biblical allusions and spectacular fight scenes should make it a cult favorite for years to come. See this movie in theaters while you still can...this is definitely not a film to wait for on DVD.