House of Flying Daggers In the visually stunning Tang Dynasty-centered House of Flying Daggers , the multitalented Ziyi Zhang (she sings! she dances! she flings daggers with chilling accuracy!)…
DVD Review

House of Flying Daggers (2005)

Ziyi Zhang, House of Flying Daggers | PRINCESS SLAY-YA Zhang combines fierceness and fragility as blind warrior Mei in ''Daggers''
Image credit: House of Flying Daggers: Bai Xiao Yan
PRINCESS SLAY-YA Zhang combines fierceness and fragility as blind warrior Mei in ''Daggers''

Details Release Date: Apr 19, 2005; DVD Release Date: Apr 19, 2005; Movie Rated: PG-13; Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance; With: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau and Ziyi Zhang; Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

In the visually stunning Tang Dynasty-centered House of Flying Daggers, the multitalented Ziyi Zhang (she sings! she dances! she flings daggers with chilling accuracy!) plays Mei, a blind, butt-kicking heroine whose membership in a band of Robin Hood-esque revolutionaries earns her a spot on the government's naughty list. Now on the lam, Mei and her dashing, secretive guide (Takeshi Kaneshiro) combat more than just bamboo-spear-wielding soldiers: Clashing allegiances cause them to fight against their own inevitably blooming romance. The Oscar-nominated cinematography certainly captivates, but it's the unfolding tale of doomed love that lifts House of Flying Daggers to extraordinary heights.

EXTRAS Two mediocre making-of featurettes, one lacking explanatory narration and another overridden with fruitless observations like ''Storyboards turn imaginary scenes into reality.'' And you can skip the blah ''Lovers'' video with its pseudo-Sears portrait studio backdrop. But the revealing commentary by Zhang and director Zhang Yimou offers amusing tidbits, like the reason behind Kaneshiro's subtle peanut popping (so that the audience will recognize him both with and without his hat).

Originally posted Apr 18, 2005 Published in issue #816 Apr 22, 2005 Order article reprints