2/10 I probably hadn’t seen the original “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” since its initial release in 2000 so I rewatched it before viewing this follow up. Despite all of the accolades and acclaim that the Ang Lee film received, I am not a fan. Besides the fight choreography, cinematography and some of the characters being strong, I found every other aspect to be completely mediocre. That being said, I would watch that 100 times in a row if it meant I never have to watch this absolute train wreck of a movie ever again. A sequel that no one asked for, released 16 years after the first film and carrying over none of the behind the scenes talent from the first film, this just feels like a shallow cash grab to bank off of an established IP. It is worth noting that the original film was in Mandarin but suddenly the entirety of this movie is in English with most of the actors having odd dialects of English, which felt extremely lazy. The screenplay is terrible as we do not care for any of these characters. One main protagonist gets into a fight at a restaurant and five random people decide to take his side in the fight and become his loyal companions for absolutely no reason. No need to explain character motivations or give them any semblance of a personality, apparently. The story is completely unengaging and the biggest emotion I felt the entire time I watched this joke of a movie was indifference. The villain was generic and as forgettable as the movie’s score. Michelle Yeoh is the only returning character from the original film and despite being a solid actress, she looks bored out of her mind as if she is just waiting for her paycheck from this movie to clear. At one point she sees a character she thought was dead and it is supposed to be some highly emotional moment but we know nothing of these characters’ back story together so we feel absolute nothing for them. The only mildly positive aspects are that the pacing works well (it is thankfully a full half an hour shorter than the original film), some of the fight choreography is strong and the climax was pretty exciting and fun to watch. Besides those elements, the movie is riddled with bad acting, poor CGI, a complete lack of direction, the feeling of just trying to steal the elements that worked from the original film but replicating them in the worst way possible and an overall feeling that no one behind this movie cared. Since everyone involved with this movie didn’t care, neither should you. Avoid this movie like the kung flu.
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