-H O U S E---O F---F L Y I N G---D A G G E R S


It is sundown in the heart of the Chinese Tang dynasty, 658. The kingdom is infected by internal strife, among which is the ongoing battle between the imperial cops and a sect of anti-governmental blade-throwers, the already much-too-often-told-of House of the Flying Daggers, whose HQ is in Fengtian. And in this heart of hearts of the Chinese critical historical phase, there is a.....Japanese. Of course Kaneshiro Takeshi, the leading actor, plays a Chinese. He's an undercover Chinese cop, trying to unravel the enemy with Andy Lau, while this enemy is beautifully embodied in Zhang Ziyi. Not hard to fathom the depth of this storytelling, provided you have known more than a hundred Hong Kong and Mainland China's movies since 1970's; but the subject has never been unrolled this way before. The sets are overwhelming, all like a cloissone box full of gems, especially the opening scenes that involve an exclusive brothel and an inclusive jail.

Chinese movies have been so greatly craved since that bleak, weary, typical and unimpressive Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (starring Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi) hit Hollywood so hard it never recovers. Zhang Yimou's previous blockbuster Hero (assassins from the kingdom of Zhao versus the unifier of China, Shih-huang Ti -- starring Jet Li, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Donnie Yen and Zhang Ziyi, 2003) is one heck of a better movie than any crouching-hidden thing; you will never ever forget this one. Then there is He Ping's Warriors of Heaven and Earth (power-struggles along the Silk Road -- starring Jiang Wen, Zhao Wei, and the Japanese actor Nakai Kiichi). The last two movies are grand tales narrated in a grand way. You have probably never heard of the latter, maybe because it doesn't get Zhang Ziyi. If that is really a point of sale, then House of Flying Daggers could hope for more than just the 2005 Oscar nomination that it has gotten.

And perhaps it deserves it. In this movie, the grandeur is humane, and the fantastic palatably real. It owes Kaneshiro Takeshi all that.

Some of Kaneshiro's pix here are with co-stars Zhang Ziyi and Andy Lau






Best Asian Movies All Movie Pages Johnny Depp Hideaki Ito Takeshi Kaneshiro Takashi Sorimachi Daisuke Ryu John Corbett Ueto Aya Odagiri Joe Kitano 'Beat' Takashi Nakai Kiichi Sanada Hiroyuki Fujiwara Tatsuya, Kimura Takuya, Sato Koichi, Miyazawa Rie, Kubozuka Yosuke, Watanabe Ken Nakamura Toru Their Fans in Indonesia Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Zhang Ziyi