Hero is two-time Academy Award nominee Zhang Yimou's directorial attempt at exploring the concept of a Chinese hero. During the peak of their Warring States period, China was divided into seven kingdoms all fighting for supremacy. Most determined to dominate China was the kingdom of Qin, whose king (Chen Daoming) was wholly obsessed with becoming ...Read MoreHero is two-time Academy Award nominee Zhang Yimou's directorial attempt at exploring the concept of a Chinese hero. During the peak of their Warring States period, China was divided into seven kingdoms all fighting for supremacy. Most determined to dominate China was the kingdom of Qin, whose king (Chen Daoming) was wholly obsessed with becoming the first emperor of China. Though he was an assassination target for many, none of his would-be killers inspired as much fear as the legendary assassins Broken Sword (Tony Leung), Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung), and Sky (Donnie Yen). In hopes of thwarting his death, the king has promised endless wealth and power to anyone who defeats his would-be murderers. No results come until ten years later, when a man called Nameless (Jet Li) brings the weapons of the three assassins to the Qin king's palace. Nameless claims to be an expert swordsman who had defeated Sky and destroyed the famed duo of Flying Snow and Broken Sword by using their love for one another against them. Once Nameless comes face to face with the king, however, it looks as if the situation is more complicated than he had thought. Also featured in Hero is actress Zhang Ziyi (The Road Home, Crouching Tiger, Hiden Dragon) as Broken Sword's devoted servant, Moon. Tracie Cooper, RoviRead Less
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I was very impressed by this film on many levels, script, story, cinematography, martial arts, sets, characters, etc. but will offer commentary only in my subject of expertise, Architecture. I may offer that the historical settings of the First Emperor's Royal Palace and environs were designed and shown with great power of design, exquisite detail and fine execution of color, light and materials. It is unknown if these architectural images are exact and historically accurate, but they seemed true and in character with historical scholarship available. Moreover, the siting of each structure was pristine, elegant and well staged with the large cast, offering a cinematic focus at both a large all-cast scale and a human one for the main characters simultaneously. I cannot recall any film in which this has been accomplished so successfully, but may add that this imagery was choreographed similarly in the opening ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics in 2009. I was so impressed that I made a study of this for my curriculum as there is great interest in ancient Chinese cities and historical sites today as China enters the forefront of the Architectural and Urban world stage with discovery of its ancient sites. This film has much information in many areas, and it is well worth owning a copy to view over and over, and for study of nuance, a truly successful artistic endeavor.