Winner of four Oscars (and nominated for ten, including Best Picture and Best Director), Ang Lee‘s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is a tough act to follow. But The Weinstein Company and Netflix are giving it a try with “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny.”
The names lined up behind the production are impressive with Yuen Wo-Ping directing, and Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights,” “Lone Survivor“) and Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game“) among the producers, while Michelle Yeoh reprises her role as Yu Shu-Lien. But where there too many cooks in the kitchen? That’s the impression one gets in the first and only review so far for ‘Sword Of Destiny’ from Screen Daily. Here’s an excerpt:
Throughout Sword of Destiny there is lingering evidence of a much longer version of the story, with numerous incidents going unexplained, while characters and motivations fall by the wayside….
As a result, each scene either pushes the story forward through clunky exposition, or features some kind of generic wuxia action, be it a fight, training sequence or gravity-defying glide across rooftops. Sadly Yuen Wo-ping, who also serves as action director on the film, stages these sequences with a lack of visual or stylistic invention, and nothing comes close to his breakthrough work on Ang Lee’s film.
Without such flourishes to distract or entertain audiences, it falls to the performers to carry the underwritten, cliche-heavy narrative. But in a story fuelled by burgeoning romance and long-lost love, precious few sparks fly between the icy leads. Michelle Yeoh reacts to the discovery that her betrothed is still alive with all the emotional outpouring of a terracotta warrior. [Donnie] Yen does little more than shrug his flimsy apology, while prospective lovers Wei Fang and Snow Vase share nothing more than a single fleeting smile.
Judge for yourself when “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny” arrives on February 26th in limited release and on Netflix. Watch below.