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A heavily stylized visual feast takes its inspiration from historical fact: multiple assassination attempts on the life of China's first emperor. A nameless warrior (Li), looking for a reward, comes to the court of the King of Qin (Chen) to report that he has killed three legendary assassins. Flashbacks are then used to recount his success against Long Sky (Yen), Broken Sword (Leung), and Flying Snow (Cheung) while the King provides his own interpretation on the truth of the matter. Shifts of color (black, white, red, blue, green) reflect changing moods and the martial arts sequences are choreographed more like dances than fights. Tech credits are top-notch from the lensing to the production design, music, and costumes. The Cantonese accents of Hong Kong stars Cheung and Leung have been dubbed into Mandarin.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521-1120, Toll-free: 800-723-4763, URL: http://www.bvhe.com

Available on Running time 96 minutes. Originally from Chinese, Hong Kong.

Cast and Crew

Genres
Martial Arts, China, Period Piece, Small-Town Sheriffs, Assassination, Flashback
Screenplay
Zhang Yimou, Feng Li, Bin Wang
Cast
Jet Li, Maggie Cheung, Donnie Yen, Zhang Ziyi, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Chen Daoming
Cinematography
Christopher Doyle
Director
Zhang Yimou
Music
Tan Dun
Other
Tao Jing, Zhai Ru, Emi Wada, Huo Tingxiao, Yi Zhenzhou
Producer
Bill Kong, Zhang Yimou, Beijing New Picture Film Company, Elite Group Enterprises, Miramax

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