If you enjoyed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, here are nine other films you should see.
Ang Lee is frequently referred to as a modern-day auteur because of his work in film. Films like “The Wedding Banquet” (1993), “Brokeback Mountain” (2005), and “Life of Pi” (2012), among others, have shown the director’s versatility as a storyteller over the years.
‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,’ the wuxia film directed by the filmmaker, demonstrated his abilities (2000). The story revolves around a young Chinese warrior who robs a world-renowned swordsman of his prized possession: a sword. After that, he and an enigmatic stranger flee across the kingdom’s borders. Chinese novelist Wang Dulu wrote the book that became the basis for the film, and co-writers Wang Hui-ling, James Schamus, and Tsai Kuo Jung worked with Hong Kong cinematographer Peter Pau, American film editor Tim Squyres, and composer Tan Dun to bring the story to life on screen. The film was shot in Hong Kong and edited in the United States.
Action scenes are expertly choreographed and accompanied by stunning cinematography. The performances add even more structure to the periphery aesthetics on a qualitative level. Aside from that, the story adds a thoughtful social commentary to the stylistics. ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ is full of inspiration, from the Qing dynasty’s gender politics to the idea of a mentor-student relationship.
Upon its initial release, the film received a ton of praise for its visual splendor. It has received over forty nominations, including ten Academy Award nominations, as well as numerous Golden Globe and BAFTA victories. There are few films as iconic as ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” It’s a significant contribution to cinematic history.
Films with similar narrative structures were considered for this list. Authors from the wuxia genre dominated this list. As a result of wanting a more diverse collection, I did not include any Ang Lee-directed films in the mix. Following is a list of movies like ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ based on how many votes they received. Movies like ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ are available on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime..
1. Ashes of Time (1994)
‘Ashes of Time,’ based on Jin Yong’s ‘The Legend of the Condor Heroes,’ stars Leslie Cheung as Ouyang Feng, a heartbroken hitman who moves to the desert to carry out his contract killings with the help of several skilled swordsmen. Strong performances and visually appealing cinematography are the foundations of Wong Kar-acclaimed wai’s film ‘Ashes of Time,’ which he wrote and directed. Combat scenes are choreographed with dexterity, as is the case with most video games.
2. Fearless (2006)
The film ‘Fearless,’ directed by Ronny Yu, is based on the life of Master Huo Yuanjia, a Chinese Martial Artist who founded the Jin Wu Sports Federation and served as its spiritual guru. The film, which stars Jet Li as Yuanjia, is a compelling and engrossing social commentary voice.
“Fearless,” written by Chris Chow, Christine To, Wang Bin, and Li Feng, explores the hot topics of Chinese nationalism, Western imperialism, and the slow and gradual collapse of the Qing Dynasty with the birth the Republic of China. The film was plagued by controversies, but despite this, the cinematography and performances were stellar, and it did extremely well financially.
3. Dragon (2011)
In ‘Dragon,’ Aubrey Lam and Peter Chan tell the story of a paper maker who gets sucked into a murder investigation that involves two other criminals, as well. When a detective takes charge of the investigation, the paper manufacturer is put in jeopardy. The movie is set up as a martial arts film, but the plot turns out to be a thriller.
With the screenplay in place, the director can design a nail-biting roller coaster. “Dragon is an exhilarating martial arts entertainment that modernizes the genre while re-emphasizing its strong points,” wrote film critic Maggie Lee of The Hollywood Reporter of the stylistic elements. The film also gets high marks for the acting, with three of the actors nominated for Hong Kong Film Awards, to name a few.
4. Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, and John Stevenson collaborated on the screenplay for the animated wuxia film ‘Kung Fu Panda.’ There is an ancient Chinese setting to the film where a warrior named Tai Lung terrorizes the locals and holds them at his mercy through evil means. The warrior clan, on the other hand, tries to live up to the legend of “The Dragon Warrior,” who is said to rise up and overthrow the despotic Tai Lung. However, the problem is that an obese panda with no knowledge of martial arts has been given the mantle of Dragon Warrior!
There is a lot of thought that went into this film, and the action sequences have a unique flair that only an animated film can achieve. Aside from that, the actors who play the characters do an outstanding job of conveying the right vibes. Hans Zimmer and John Powell’s score gives the film’s emotional arc, and it’s a joy to listen to. The film ‘Kung Fu Panda’ had its world premiere at Cannes and was well received. Film grosses $631.7 million against a $130 million budget at the box office.
5. Iron Monkey (1993)
‘Iron Monkey,’ directed by Yuen Woo-ping, follows Wong Fei-hung and his father Wong Kei-ying as they learn about the legend of the titular “Iron Monkey.”. An intricate mythology underlies the story, which was co-written by Tsui Hark (who also directed), Cheung Tan (who also wrote), Tang Elsa (who also directed), and Lau Tai-Mok (who also directed). Wong Kei-ying is played by Donnie Yen; Yang Tianchun is played by Yu Rongguang; and Wong Fei-hung is played by Angie Tsang. When ‘Iron Monkey’ was released, critics praised Richard Yuen’s score for its political commentary and musical score.
6. House of Flying Daggers (2004)
“House of Flying Daggers” was made as a love story between a police officer named Captain Leo and the leader of a rebel gang, named Mei. Andy Lau plays Captain Leo in the film. Mei has escaped from prison and is now on the run, trying to find her comrades. However, despite the fact that everything appears to be going well, he is forced to question his decision to risk his job and reputation saving the woman he loves from a prison.
The movie’s main appeal is the romantic subplot attached to the action/adventure genre, which is an interesting twist on itself. Filmmaker Zhang Yimou directed and co-wrote “House of Flying Daggers,” which received high praise from critics. Zhao Xiaoding’s stunning cinematography elevates the otherwise excellent story, performances, and direction to a whole new level of excellence. ‘House of Flying Daggers,’ which premiered to a 20-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, is an excellent film.
7. Kill Bill (2003-2004)
“Kill Bill: Volume I and II” pays homage to the wuxia genre by following Uma Thurman’s character, the Bride, on a bloody rampage of revenge against the titular Bill and his team of assassins, who attempt to kill both her and her unborn child. ‘Kill Bill,’ with its gore and goreyness, can be dismissed as cheap gore.
“Kill Bill” is a thrilling watch, thanks to its exhilarating action sequences, snappy dialogue, and compelling performances. Director Quentin Tarantino views the two films, which were released back-to-back in 2003 and 2004, as a single work, a revenge saga. As a result of the positive critical reception as well as the enthusiastic support of the public, the film earned $180.9 million in ticket sales against a $30 million budget.
8. Hero (2002)
Assassination attempt on Qin King Jing Ke in 227 BC is chronicled in the film “Hero,” directed by Zhang Yimou and co-written by Feng Li, Bin Wang, and Zhang Yimou. Jet Li, the legendary martial artist, plays an anonymous protagonist who becomes embroiled in an assassination conspiracy. On Rotten Tomatoes, Hero has an approval rating of 95%, making it one of the wuxia films that made a big name for themselves in Hollywood.
Later, the film became a fan favorite among critics, who gave it overwhelmingly positive reviews. “beautiful and beguiling, a martial arts extravaganza defining the styles and lives of its fighters within Chinese tradition,” wrote Roger Ebert of the film’s narrative. While the action scenes keep things exciting, the film’s deeper social commentary elevates it to the status of a thought-provoking art form.
9. Dragon Inn (1967)
King Hu wrote and directed the Taiwanese film ‘Dragon Inn’ (1967). Set in 1457 China, a group of heroic martial arts swordsmen rescue the children of an outcast army General when they are being hunted by the law. ‘Dragon Inn’ is a classic of the wuxia genre that served as inspiration for a slew of other films. The movie is fantastic to watch thanks to a well-written screenplay and excellent direction. In 1992, Raymond Lee directed ‘New Dragon Gate Inn,’ which was well received by critics and audiences alike, and in 2011, Tsui Hark directed ‘The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate,’ which was similarly well received.