Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny is okay, which would be tolerable if it wasn’t associated with such an imaginative predecessor.
You can’t compare the quality of the Netflix produced sequel with Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Lee has an arty eye for cinema, and Sword of Destony’s director Woo-Ping Yuen is a more action oriented filmmaker, which Yuen delivers with exciting sequences atop of buildings and a frozen lake. One impressive fight scene happens at night when rivals are trying to beat each other up without waking anyone. It’s one of the only fights that leaves out spotty special effects.
What you can suggest to the production, however, is that Sword of Destiny needed an additional screenwriter. Someone who could’ve combed through the script and make clichés less mawkish.
John Fusco has experience with writing resourceful westerns (most notably during the genre’s drought with Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and Hidalgo), but he doesn’t provide new surprises for this flick. The story (adapted from Du Lu Wang’s book) is translated into a tired MacGuffin chase (in this case, the coveted Green Destiny sword), with a subplot involving those previously mentioned rivals charming up a love-hate romance. I did not expect a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to display a moment where the boy and girl give each other a lovely lil’ look-and-smile during the film’s intense climax. With a partner, Fusco could’ve spitballed creative ideas with another capable mind.
Woo-Ping Yuen has recaptured some of the magic returning movie goers anticipate, but the squishy screenplay doesn’t follow through with an advancement.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie