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How does the hybrid “Sword of Destiny” disappoint us?

chinese film, crouching tiger hidden draggon sword of destiny

When "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" opened in 2000, it carried surprises: that Ang Lee, a director known for high-minded literary adaptations, could make such a vibrant and exciting martial-arts movie, and that a Chinese-language film could be a box-office hit in America.


The only surprise about "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny," the thoroughly unexciting sequel that became available on Netflix on Friday, is that anyone thought it needed to be made. Directed by Yuen Wo Ping, the famous action choreographer who worked on the original "Crouching Tiger," it's a series of fights in search of a story.


The third Netflix original feature (after "Beasts of No Nation" and "The Ridiculous 6"), "Sword of Destiny" lifts what little plot it has from the earlier film. Once again the invincible sword known as Green Destiny must be protected from thieves. Once again the warrior Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) comes to the home of her friend Sir Te, this time for his funeral, and is joined there by an old flame. Once again a young woman trained by a deadly female fighter has a history with a sexy bandit.

《青冥宝剑》是Netflix投拍的第三部原创片——前两部是《无境之兽》(Beasts of No Nation)与《滑稽六人组》(The Ridiculous 6)——它并没有从前作中继承太多情节。这把坚不可摧,名为"青冥"的宝剑又一次面临被盗的危险。侠女俞秀莲(杨紫琼饰)来到朋友贝勒爷家中,这一次是参加他的葬礼,一个旧情人也来到她的身边。又一次,一个年轻女孩出现了,她的师父是一个女死士,她也和一个帅气的盗匪有了一段感情。

The graceful and sly Ms. Yeoh is the only star to return from the original. The other central roles have been filled with performers less charismatic than their predecessors: Natasha Liu Bordizzo replaces Zhang Ziyi as the young woman, Harry Shum Jr. subs for Chang Chen as the bandit, and the stolid action star Donnie Yen steps in for the magnetic Chow Yun-Fat as Shu Lien's platonic paramour.


Filmed in New Zealand by a mostly Western crew, with a number of Asian-American and Australian actors, "Sword of Destiny" has a hybrid feel. It's an English-language production, and the variety of accents coupled with John Fusco's stilted dialogue call to mind an old Hollywood melodrama set in exotic lands.

影片在新西兰拍摄,大部分剧组成员都是西方人,也有少数几个亚裔和澳大利亚演员,《青冥宝剑》有种杂交的感觉。它使用英语对白,有各种口音,夹杂着约翰·福斯克(John Fusco)生硬的台词,让人觉得好像是一出发生在异国他乡的老式好莱坞情节剧。

Mr. Yuen's directorial style and the mediocre computer graphics give the film the picturesque, storybook feel of a Chinese studio production, however. Even his fight sequences, while fast and intricate, feel perfunctory. As the film ticks off the fights on its way to the big showdown, there isn't a moment that possesses the enchantment or emotion with which Mr. Lee infused "Crouching Tiger." "It is not kept hidden," Shu Lien says, spying the Green Destiny in Sir Te's quarters. Turns out it should have been.



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