Michelle Yeoh Dominates Trailer for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny
It’s been almost 3 years since we heard about the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel, and this trailer instills hope in my heart that it was well worth the wait. At the end of the 2000 film, Chow Yun-fat’s Mu Bai dies in the arms of Michelle Yeoh’s Shu Lien, and Zhang Ziyi’s Jen jumps off a mountain. The movie was based on the fourth book in Wang Dulu’s wuxia series titled the Iron Crane Pentalogy, with some changes.
Some notes: Zhang Ziyi will not be returning, which brings some confusion as the 5th novel centers around Jen after she jumps off the cliff, but it looks like Michelle Yeoh will more than make up for it alongside gymnast Eugenia Yuan, Kung Fu star JuJu Chan, and Tae Kwon Do black belt Natasha Liu Bordizzo. Other new cast members: Jason Scott Lee, Chris Pang, Roger Yuan, Harry Shum Jr., and freaking Donnie Yen from Ip Man promise some amazing fight scenes from extremely skilled martial artists. Yuen Woo-ping, the choreographer behind films like Drunken Master, also promises a visually entertaining film. While I’m definitely sad that Ang Lee won’t be directing, I’m really excited to see all this talent come together.
Netflix provided this vague synopsis that I’m going to mostly ignore since it doesn’t tell me anything besides the fact that this is a wuxia movie:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny tells an epic story of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption, set against breathtaking action in an epic martial arts battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of the Martial World.
The title Sword of Destiny refers to Mu Bai’s Green Destiny (the film also goes by The Green Legend), a sword that’s taken by Jen but later brought to Beijing like Mu Bai intended at the end of the first film. In the trailer, the sword makes its return in Harry Shum Jr.’s hands for some reason, with Yeoh in the background stating “once he has the sword, that will be the end of us” — but there’s also some other jagged red sword that seems significant. I’m inclined to say that Red Sword is probably the bad one (which is interesting since red=good and green=impulsive in Chinese tradition), and Harry Shum Jr. probably has a love subplot. Donnie Yen accompanies Yeoh in several scenes, and Yeoh seems like a reluctant participant in the battle. Some of the backdrops are as gorgeous as they were in the first film, but there’s definitely a bit more of a western action-y vibe to it that I’m not really digging (maybe because of the music and those tag-lines?). Still, I don’t want to judge too much based on the trailer, as some of the trailers for The Assassin earlier this year were pretty misleading in making a slow film look very abrupt.
The Weinstein Company and Netflix struck a deal to release the film in select theaters and the streaming service, a move that wasn’t received well by various theater companies including Regal and AMC. That being said, it look like such an epic that I’m really tempted to see it in IMAX. What do you think about the trailer?
—Please make note of The Mary Sue’s general comment policy.—