Movie Review | Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II: The Green Legend


Netflix is once again changing the way we watch movies with their production of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II: The Green Legend. Produced with the Weinstein Company, the film will be released simultaneously on IMAX and Netflix on August 28th, 2015.

The original Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, directed by Academy Award winning director Ang Lee, came out in 2001 and was lauded for its stunning and innovative visual effects. Unfortunately this sequel brings nothing new to the series and seems more like a marketing ploy for Netflix, even more so because it is in English, not Mandarin like the original, and the English spoken is a hodgepodge of the actors' different accents. The story, characters, and martial arts scenes are mostly the same and the flaws of the first film are not improved upon here.

The film picks up twenty years after the first one ends with Michelle Yeoh returning as the master warrior, Yu Shu Lien. She is back at the Yu household to pay respect to her family friend when once again, someone is after the titular sword, Green Legend. The thief is played by Harry Shum Jr. (probably most recognizable from his role on Glee), a pawn of the opposing tribe led by a very demonic-looking Jason Scott Lee as Hades Dai. Swordplay ensues with a few twists along the way but it still results in a somewhat predictable result.

I may have doomed this viewing by watching the original the night before the screening because I couldn't help but remember the resemblances and be disappointed by the lack of originality. Maybe enough time has passed since the first film for audiences to view the sequel with fresh eyes. Either way, I will be curious to see if Netflix's latest experiment works.
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