Given the mammoth success of the 2000 martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, it’s no surprise that a sequel has been produced.
The original Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon won international prizes, including several Academy Awards, and it went on to become the highest grossing foreign language film in the U.S. of all time ($128 million). Set during the Qing Dynasty, the film also made international stars of Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh and Hong Kong actor Chow Yun‑fat.
Maybe it’s more surprising that it took so long for a sequel to arrive. So now, 15 years on from the original, here comes Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2 “Sword of Destiny.” Its trailer has just been released, which you can watch here from Fresh Movie Trailers:
The biggest hurdle that the sequel will face is matching the brilliance of the first film.
For this outing, there is no Taiwanese-born American director Ang Lee at the helm. Instead, it has Yuen Woo-ping, a respected name when it comes to martial arts choreography. The now 53-year-old Michelle Yeoh reprises her role as Yu Shu Lien, and she stars alongside martial arts legend Donnie Yen from Hong Kong.
If the trailer didn’t give you enough to go by, the sequel’s basic plot is about how Yeoh’s character must protect a legendary sword from an evil warlord.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny is to be seen in China, which has a lucrative movie market, and subsequently its story-line has gone through a censorship process. A reporter from the Southern Weekly posted the film’s first page of censorship instructions via Weibo. China Digital Times reported that among the changes ordered by the communist authorities to the story were:
- Regarding descriptions of the “White Lotus Society,” the name must be replaced with a made-up martial arts faction
- We advise you to downplay “Oppose the Qing, Restore the Ming” content
These two revisions, China Digital Times said, temper the depiction of political factions from China’s imperial past.
The film will be shown on Netflix and in IMAX theaters on February 26, 2016.