Movies: Fine China, Kung Fu Style

Zhang Ziyi battles with the big boys in the dazzling, devious martial-arts epic House of Flying Daggers

Perhaps Hollywood can't be trusted to make Hollywood-style movies anymore. When ancient-history films lumber like the elephantine Alexander, or when technological gewgaws abduct the magic of fantasy in films like The Polar Express, where can a curious cinephile go? China. That's where director Zhang Yimou blended history book with graphic novel in the worldwide hit Hero, and whence he returns with the even zippier, more cunning kung fu caper, House of Flying Daggers.

In the late years of the Tang dynasty, an insurgency has arisen, led by the mysterious Flying Daggers group. Government officers Leo (Andy Lau, of Infernal Affairs) and...

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