Hero (DVD)

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Hero (DVD)

Set 2,000 years ago, during the time of the Warring States, when seven kingdoms were battling for dominance, and one leader--the king of Qin (Chen Dao...

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Review of "Hero (DVD)"

published 12/10/2016 | IzzyS
Member since : 27/07/2006
Reviews : 762
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Thanks for all rates. Let me know if I dont re-rate you - I will rectify it ASAP.
Pro Engrossing, stunning in parts - visual elements, choreography, eastern music,
Cons Plot a bit unclear, dubbed English
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Characters / Performances
Special Effects

"A Graceful Martial Arts Action Flick"

- Story -

In ancient (what is now regarded as) China, a defense officer who is literally known as nameless (being an unknown), is made to face the King of the Qin region, to answer in relation to his reputation for having ruthlessly assassinated three determined warriors. He is on a mission to give what he sees as justice to an army who brutally slayed his people.

- More Info., Thoughts & Opinions -

If I had to describe this concisely, I'd say this is a pretty, graceful and agile martial arts focussed action film. It features plenty of choreographed martial arts scenes, with fancy sword fights, which are slowed down and shown in detail in a sort of freeze frame effect, along the lines of that shown in the The Matrix films. Themes this film covers include revenge, ownership, family and territory I suppose.

There is a near constant presence of Eastern music in the background, think stringed instruments and drumbeats used in different scenes, depending on the underlying tone of said scene. I felt it was quite engrossing, quite visually pleasing (not least for the amazing numbers of arrows fired at people in some scenes) - I can only imagine CGI must have played a part somehow, as how else could such large numbers be filmed so precisely, I couldn't help but wonder. There are some lovely landscape shots - the rural Chinese lands looking very picturesque and mythical, not least when, in some scenes, the sun is setting in the background.

Of course there is the inevitable element of violence present, although in this film there is surprisingly little (well pretty much no) blood or gore shown at all, with the camera not panning down to show the precise injuries inflicted, instead the persons face is shown and their facial expression often makes it clear whether they've suffered or not. Content wise, there is little in the way of strong language, although there are one or two mild sex scenes but more implied than graphically depicted. Nearly everything seemed gracefully implied rather than laid bare, so to speak. I was quite impressed. For the record, it has a 12 certificate. I suppose it wouldn't be a good idea for young kids to see martial arts and become interested in the violent side of it.

Its described as an epic - a (I'm reading from the back of the DVD box here) 'stunning martial arts epic' and I'd agree with that, although it has a relatively short running time of 95 minutes, which would seem rather short for an 'epic' type film. I thought it was quite stunning and engrossing though. If I were to criticise it, I think it would be in terms of the plot being, if anything, perhaps a little too mystical and unclear. Then of course there's the issue of it being originally in Chinese, although you can select to play it in English but obviously that means that its dubbed and I did feel this was a little distracting, in terms of it not being fully synced with the characters on screen but thats to be expected of any originally foreign language film thats dubbed in to English. I just felt that some people may find themselves mildly distracted by the speech being slightly out of sync.

As regards the cast, the main cast member, who people may be aware of, is Jet Li. He plays the nameless person effortlessly. Other cast members include Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ziyi Zhang and Daoming Chen. I'm not sure if there's anything specific I can say about their performances, other than that they all seemed very good to me.

- Would I Recommend It? -

Yes I'd recommend this film if your interested in the more mythical side of Chinese, or asian in general, martial arts, without liking there being any extreme (graphic or explicit) violence present. I liked the use of music and felt it was quite engrossing. Having said that, it isn't entirely perfect but overall I thought it was a good film, so I'll recommend it on that basis.

- Availability -

If your interested in seeing this, you can buy it on DVD for £2.32 at Amazon UK, at time of publishing this review.

- Final Note / Thank You -

Thank you for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks, as ever, for any and all rates and comments.

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This review was read 411 times and was rated at
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Comments on this review

  • jb0077 published 17/10/2016
    nicely done.
  • jo-1976 published 16/10/2016
    Not my cup of tea!
  • RICHADA published 16/10/2016
    Very good review - but not one I have any wish to see. R.
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Product Information : Hero (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Set 2,000 years ago, during the time of the Warring States, when seven kingdoms were battling for dominance, and one leader--the king of Qin (Chen Dao Ming)--was determined to end up victorious and unite all of China as one nation. The proud king is forced to live trapped alone in his palace as a remarkable trio of villains--Broken Sword (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai), Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk), and Sky (Donnie Yen)--are out to kill him. But one day a simple country prefect (Jet Li) shows up, announcing that he has killed all three assassins. Identifying himself as Nameless, the prefect tells in great detail how he got rid of the king's sworn enemies.


Listed on Ciao since: 26/03/2003