This film was a huge flop with critics and fans alike, receiving a Rotten Tomatoes 19% critics score and a 38% fan score. I had some time to watch a movie Wednesday evening, and this film was on Netflix Streaming. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was very pleasantly surprised. It’s a great film to curl up on the couch with your significant other or pet! “Call me crazy,” but I loved it, and I don’t even like many martial arts movies. I’m really “sticking my neck out” by putting this movie in my Top 20 for 2016! I think the bad reviews are because it isn’t nearly as good as the original “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), but that may be the greatest martial arts film of all time, so how could it be? If they just called it “Sword of Destiny” and changed the plot a bit so it wasn’t a sequel, I think most people would have thought it was really good. The film has a decent plot, numerous fantasticly-choreographed martial arts scenes, breath-taking cinematography (by Newton Thomas Sigel), and a beautiful, young actress making her film debut – Natasha Liu Bordizzo, as Snow Vase. What more do movie fans want?
The film begins about 20 years after the original film. The evil warlord Hades Dai (Jason Scott) is ruthlessly conquering many feudal kingdoms, killing nearly all of the opposing soldiers in his path. However, there is a legendary sword – the “Sword of Destiny” – that has never lost a battle and is being guarded by Yu Shuy Lien (Michelle Yeoh), the great female warrior from the original film. Hades Dai is fearful that a great warrior may someday use this sword to defeat him, so he sends one of his warriors, Wei Fang (Harry Shum, Jr.) to steal it. Wei Fang gets thwarted in this attempt, however, by Snow Vase, who was trained in the martial arts by a controversial female master. Wei Fang and Snow Vase are about the same age and there’s considerable emotional intensity between them, although why remains a mystery. Anticipating an all-out assault to capture the sword by Hades Dai and his large army, Yu Shuy Lien enlists the aid of five legendary warriors, including Silent Wolf (Donnie Yen) to defend their feudal kingdom.
Will this small band of warriors be able to defeat the evil Hades Dai? What is the mystery between Wei Fang and Snow Vase? If you’re curiosity has been aroused, just go to Netflix and stream it! Quite frankly, I think this is a “cutting-edge” martial arts film!