Starring: Jet Li, Tony Lueng, Maggie Chueng, Chen Daoming, Donnie Yen, Zhang Ziyi
One of my a favorite foreign movies is the move Hero. The movie Hero tells the story of China’s first emperor who tried to unite all of china into one kingdom from the independent warring city states it was before.
The movie begins with Jet Li who stars as the Nameless Warrior who works as a prefect (a policeman) for the Qin Kingdom and his mission is to bring the assassins Flying Snow, Broken Sword and Long Sky to justice for the crime of trying to assassinate the King of Qin. When Jet Li returns to the Qin palace he claims that he has slain the assassins and presents their swords as proof. The King of Qin who has survived the assassination attempt takes precautions with all visitors, all visitors must sit 100 paces away from him but when Jet Li ( the nameless warrior) returns with the swords of Flying Snow, Broken Sword and Long Sky, the King allows Jet Li to sit within 10 paces of him and tell the story of how he killed the assassins.
Jet Li explains how he knew that Snow and Sword were lovers and revealed to Sword that Snow was having an affair with Sky when this was revealed this caused major instability between the two of them and so Jet Li told the king that it was easy to separate them and kill them becasue both were emotionally compromised. The king saw through this flimsy explanation of the “truth” and demanded that Jet Li tell the real story of how he killed the assassins. This is when Jet Li reveals that he is actually an assassin himself and that he is from the city-state Zhao which the Qin Kingdom had decimated in one of its wars and now he wants revenge against the King for killing his parents. The King dosent flinch upon hearing this news and waits for Jet Li to explain how he accomplished the killing of Sword, Snow and Sky which was the only thing that would bring him within 10 paces of the king making it easy enough to kill him.
Jet Li explains that he went to a meeting with Broken Sword and Flying Snow and showed them the sword of Long Sky who had sacrificed himself for the great cause of killing the Qin King and told Jet Li to show his sword to his friends Broken Sword and Flying Snow, as proof that Jet Li is for real and needs their help. When Snow and Sword see the sword Snow automatically pledges her allegiance to Jet Li but Sword refuses to help saying that he will stop them both, that the Qin King must live. Snow fights Sword right then and wounds him enough to slow him down while Jet Li escapes. Eventually Broken Sword catches up with Jet Li and tells him to give up on his quest to kill the king when Jet Li asks why? Broken Sword writes only one word in the sand… “Our Land” and then rides off into the desert to wait for the news of what happened to the Qin King.
When the King hears this story he explains to Jet Li that all he set out to do was to unite china under one state in order to stop the suffering of many and then he tells Jet Li; if you must kill me to alleviate your suffering then go ahead but what is one man’s suffering compared to the suffering of many? The King turns his back on Jet Li, while Jet Li debates on whether or not to kill him…and this is where I will leave you becasue I dont want to spoil the awesome ending for you.
Although the movie is told through flashbacks and can be a bit confusing at times times it eventually evens itself out and becomes a very powerful movie with a very powerful message. What I liked about the movie was the use of color and how the music flows with the movie nicely and dosent overwhelm the story. You should be warned this is not a fast paced movie and its very arsty-fartsy but if you can adapt to the slow pace and creative cinematography and use of motion then I think you will really enjoy this film..at least I did.
Bluej Rating: A