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Shi Mian Mai Fu (2004)

Action | 119 minutes
3,75 1.380 votes

Genre: Action / Drama

Duration: 119 minuten

Alternative titles: House of Flying Daggers / Attack from Ten Directions / Sap Min Maai Fuk / 十面埋伏

Country: China / Hong-Kong

Directed by: Yimou Zhang

Stars: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau and Ziyi Zhang

IMDb score: 7,5 (116.468)

Releasedate: 19 May 2004

Shi Mian Mai Fu plot

The story is set in 9th century China. Two soldiers Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and Leo (Andy Lau) are tasked with tracking down the leader of the "House of Flying Daggers", a revolutionary group. Leo thinks Mei (Zhang Ziyi), a beautiful blind dancer, is this leader's daughter. To gain her trust, Jin goes undercover. He poses as a sympathizer to their cause. Together they leave for the headquarters of the "House of Flying Daggers". What no one could have foreseen, however, is that Mei and Jin fall in love along the way. When Jin has to kill his own soldiers to protect Mei and Mei is ordered to kill Jin, their divided loyalties put them in a dire dilemma.

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avatar van Filmkriebel


  • 9062 messages
  • 4190 votes

State of the art! What an incredibly beautiful movie. Zhang Yimou manages to surprise me time and again with his beautiful image compositions. The dance scene in the beginning, the action scene in the bamboo, the final battle in the snow. The concern for aesthetic perfection is breathtaking. While at the beginning it seems to be an adventure film, where the government wants to reach the headquarters of the rebel group "the Flying Daggers" with a ruse to kill their leader, this plot gradually fades into the background to make way for a love tragedy. That seems like a strange choice that may not appeal to everyone, but instinctively this kind of evolution is better to do the characters justice.

"House of Flying Daggers" is also not lacking in the necessary twists that absolutely do not miss their effect. And actually, the film is great on just about all fronts: the acting between Chinese doll Zhang Zhiyi and Kaneshiro also works as it should. My only point of criticism is that the mise-en-scene is very thick at the end : transition to wintry conditions just for the tragedy, the swelling music, tragic looks and movements... [/spoiler ] Hmm, okay then.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Shadowed


  • 8904 messages
  • 5552 votes

Asian classic.

Was also recommended to me for a movie game. Now I don't see why anyone thinks it's a good idea to recommend an Asian film to me, but Yimou Zhang has directed some great films in the past. However, I never found him so spectacular in romanticized stories and this film definitely proves that.

Some visually beautiful scenes can definitely be found, but not really by the director himself. Amazing because as a director, Zhang has always been a driving factor for his films. Here are some special environments as well as unique camera movements that give it its own twist. The highlight is of course the scene in the woods but also in the field, but once it comes to chemistry and action itself it comes across as flat.

I thought the acting was the film's biggest flaw, with a Ziyi Zhang who doesn't do much. The other characters are also regularly affected and annoying. I couldn't really build a bond with anyone, and it doesn't matter to me that they then grow together. I found it all annoying characters in their own way, so I quickly forgot all those proportions and developments.

The finale undermines the film even more in my opinion. Nicely decorated, but very annoyingly filled in. The romantic parts of the film disrupt the action, which are clean but not very memorable. Film that I had a hard time getting through. Fortunately, Zhang was still able to play with other films, because remarkably enough, this suited me much less.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original