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"HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS"
(2004) (Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Ziyi) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*Moderate Heavy Extreme *Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Mild None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy None Minor Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Drama: Two Chinese deputies of the Tang Dynasty plot to use a blind dancer to lead them to a group of anti-government rebels, but their individual relationships with her ultimately cloud their goals and convictions.
PLOT:
It's 859 A.D. China and with the emperor's power in decline, rebel forces are gaining control and wishing to put an end to the Tang Dynasty. Yet, the government has an ace up their sleeve in the form of various deputies whose job is to root out the guerillas. Among them are Leo (ANDY LAU TAK-WAH) and his partner Jin (TAKESHI KANESHIRO) who've been given just 10 days to find and kill the leader of the most notorious rebel group, the Flying Daggers.

To get to her, the two have targeted blind bordello dancer Mei (ZHANG ZIYI) who's rumored to be the leader's daughter. With an elaborate ruse, they first get her jailed and then have Jin, now nicknamed "Wind," spring her from confinement. The two then go on the run, with Jin hoping that she'll eventually lead him and the others back to the Flying Daggers. Unexpected perilous and romantic developments, however, eventually threaten to undermine their scheme.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into highly stylized martial arts films, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sequences of stylized martial arts violence, and some sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
To avoid giving away late in the film surprises, not all of the character's characteristics are noted below.
  • TAKESHI KANESHIRO plays a government deputy who misrepresents himself as Mei's rescuer in hopes that she'll lead him to her group's leader. He fights with and kills various men, and apparently has sex with Mei.
  • ZHANG ZIYI plays a blind bordello dancer with a connection to the Flying Daggers who's quite capable of defending herself from various attacks. She apparently sleeps with Jin.
  • ANDY LAU TAK-WAH plays Jin's deputy partner who trails him and Mei in hopes that they'll eventually come across the rebel group and its leader. He tries to be romantic with Mei, but when she rebukes him, he nearly rapes her.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this dramatic action/adventure film that's been rated PG-13. Some couples are seen fooling around (passionate kissing, caressing, brief groping, and partial nudity), with one such encounter presumably leading to off-screen sex, while various prostitutes are seen in a brothel.

    Other encounters lead to near rapes when the woman wants to stop and the man doesn't. Other violence includes a great deal of heavy stylized and often brutal martial arts action and fighting, where many people beat up, wound and/or kill others by various means.

    Some of that has rather bloody results (especially toward the end), and some of those scenes and others may not only be unsettling or suspenseful to some more sensitive viewers, but all of that action and fighting may be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while a man drinks and appears to be drunk, but that may be just part of a ruse. Profanity consists of 1 minor expletive.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Jin drinks and later appears to be drunk (but this might be part of his ruse).
  • One of the men asks if the other wants to go out for a drink, but the second declines the offer.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Jin runs and fires arrows at some attackers, with one going through a person's neck (briefly seen) and another ricocheting into another person (with slightly bloody results).
  • We see blood on a sword used to kill others.
  • A sword attempts to split a dagger thrown at a woman, but it still gets her in the chest, with resultant blood from her mouth and down her chin.
  • Two men engaged in mortal combat are rather bloody from their fighting.
  • A person throws a dagger at another, but a drop of blood deflects its course.
  • A person removes a dagger from their body (into which it was previously thrown), resulting in a great deal of resultant blood pouring out of the wound and them dying.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • All of the major characters misrepresent themselves to others. That includes Jin leading on Mei (into thinking he's helping her, when he's really trying to use her to get to the rebels).
  • Some may see the rebels as having the bad attitudes, while others may see the government as having them.
  • Various people try to kill others in various scenes.
  • For those sensitive to rape-related issues, there are two such scenes: Jin, who appears to be drunk, grabs Mei (who's blind), gets on top of her and tears at her clothes (in a brothel) before others struggle to stop him. Later, Leo puts Mei down onto the ground, kisses her mouth and neck, and caresses her clothed chest (all with some heavy breathing), but she stops him. He doesn't want to, however, and starts to force himself on her, tearing at her clothes (we see her bare shoulder and part of her chest), until another person throws a dagger that lands in his back, making him stop.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Jin, who appears to be drunk, runs his sword around Mei's face, down her neck and then cuts off her robe (without harming her).
  • For those sensitive to rape-related issues, there are two such scenes: Jin, who appears to be drunk, grabs Mei (who's blind), gets on top of her and tears at her clothes (in a brothel) before others struggle to stop him. Later, Leo puts Mei down onto the ground, kisses her mouth and neck, and caresses her clothed chest (all with some heavy breathing), but she stops him. He doesn't want to, however, and starts to force himself on her, tearing at her clothes (we see her bare shoulder and part of her chest), until another person throws a dagger that lands in his back, making him stop.
  • Mei is shown a torture device that effectively crushes a thick pole (it's implied it will be used on her if she doesn't talk).
  • Mei trips on a hidden wire and nearly falls into a trap fitted with many sharp sticks sticking up from the ground, with Jin catching her just in time (with the sharpened ends quite close to her neck).
  • Mei knocks Jin to the ground by hitting his legs and seems prepared to kill him (under previous orders), but she only uses her sword to cut the ropes binding him.
  • A person removes a dagger from their body (into which it was previously thrown), resulting in a great deal of resultant blood pouring out of the wound and them dying.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Swords/Arrows/Poles: Used to threaten, attack, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: (In subtitles): "To hell with the captain" and "Bastard."
  • All of the highly stylized martial arts fighting and stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "hell."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see some cleavage as various prostitutes engage in some tug of war for a client's enjoyment in a brothel.
  • Jin, who appears to be drunk, runs his sword around Mei's face, down her neck and then cuts off her robe (without harming her, but there's no nudity). He then grabs Mei (who's blind), gets on top of her and tears at her clothes (in the brothel) before others struggle to stop him.
  • One of the men jokes that if he dies under a skirt, he can still flirt as a ghost.
  • Mei goes to feel Jin's face to "see" him with her hands, but instead kneels down and we're lead to believe she's feeling his crotch, but she's really just feeling his hand.
  • As Mei bathes in a pond that Jin has arranged for her, he watches from a distance, although she knows he's there (we see her bare shoulder). He's then behind her and caresses her (clothed), with some breathy dialogue (including her telling him he can look all he wants). The two are then on the ground (clothed) in the woods (with him on top), with passionate kissing and heavy breathing, but she then stops him (saying she doesn't know him well enough.
  • A man tells another not to fall for a woman, with the latter playfully asking, "In bed?" One then states that he never fails at seducing women.
  • Mei passionately kisses Jin, but he stops her.
  • Leo puts Mei down onto the ground, kisses her mouth and neck, and caresses her clothed chest (all with some heavy breathing), but she stops him. He doesn't want to, however, and starts to force himself on her, tearing at her clothes (we see her bare shoulder and part of her chest), until another person throws a dagger that lands in his back, making him stop.
  • Mei and Jin passionately kiss. His shirt comes off as does hers, with more passionate kissing in a field where they roll around on the ground. We see both of their bare backs (and a brief partial view of the very top of her bare breast as she's lying down), but both have on pants, and he kisses her bare back. We then see both of them lying there, afterwards, presumably after sex.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We learn that Mei vows to avenge her father's death.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Ancient Chinese history and its many dynasties.
  • Revenge.
  • Attempted rape.
  • Misrepresenting oneself to others.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Jin, who appears to be drunk, grabs Mei (who's blind), gets on top of her and tears at her clothes (in a brothel) before others struggle to stop him.
  • Mei uses some long fabric sleeves to grab a man's sword and then uses the same to jab that sword at him. In turn, he throws a bowl at her that she breaks. The two then get into a duel (first sword vs. sword-case, then sword vs. sword), with both expertly blocking the other's jabs, etc. He then blocks her attempts with just his hand and hits her on the side and arm.
  • A person grabs another by the neck and then holds their head under some water.
  • Jin kicks, hits and otherwise strikes many guards (in a brutal fashion) to free Mei.
  • Jin and Mei race through the woods to elude guards chasing them. Jin has to return to find her dagger pouch. While he's gone, she hears the sounds of approaching horses. She then runs through the woods, alone and blind, from those pursuing and closing in on her. One tries to hit her with a spear, but she grabs it and sends it into a tree. She then must fend off passing sword jabs from men on horseback. One horse and man go down and she grabs another on his horse (with a bad fall for all as they struggle). It's four vs. one as she avoids various close calls with the attacking men while hitting and otherwise striking them. From a distance, Jin then fires four arrows that strike the four men as they have finally gained control of her. All men fall to the ground and appear to be dead, but we later see them stand and note that the carefully fired arrows only went through their clothes and they were just playing dead.
  • Jin battles two guards who've discovered him and Mei. There are various close calls with sword thrusts, etc.
  • A dagger lands in a person's neck, while another person's neck is sliced (with some bloody results).
  • Jin stabs a sword into an attacker on the ground, while more fighting breaks out, including Mei using a pole to fend off sword attacks. Jin then runs and fires arrows at the attackers, with one going through a person's neck (briefly seen) and another ricocheting into another person (with slightly bloody results). During all of the fighting, Jin is wounded.
  • More soldiers chase Jin and Mei, with another fight breaking out.
  • Small and possibly wood pieces are thrown and land in various people's bodies (neck, etc.), killing them. Others are sliced and stabbed during another fight scene. There is a lot of fighting with many deaths.
  • Men in bamboo trees try to attack Mei, using the bendable tree to jab poles and spears, etc. at her. She defends herself by avoiding their jabs and hitting many of them with a pole. When she's surrounded, Jin jumps in to save her, throwing a sword just in time as a man throws a pole at her. Chopped bamboo trees then fall on various soldiers, while others throws spears/poles at the two.
  • Mei trips on a hidden wire and nearly falls into a trap fitted with many sharp sticks sticking up from the ground, with Jin catching her just in time (with the sharpened ends quite close to her neck).
  • Mei and Jin find themselves trapped by various men in a bamboo forest, but various thrown daggers hit all of those men on the ground and in the trees, causing all to fall to the ground dead.
  • Some people capture Jin with a net and then have him and Leo tied up.
  • Leo puts Mei down onto the ground, kisses her mouth and neck, and caresses her clothed chest (all with some heavy breathing), but she stops him. He doesn't want to, however, and starts to force himself on her, tearing at her clothes (we see her bare shoulder and part of her chest), until another person throws a dagger that lands in his back, making him stop.
  • Mei knocks Jin to the ground by hitting his legs and seems prepared to kill him (under previous orders), but she only uses her sword to cut the ropes binding him.
  • A sword attempts to split a dagger thrown at a woman, but it still gets her in the chest, with resultant blood from her mouth and down her chin.
  • Two men battle, with one slicing at the other and getting in one cut during various other close calls. The two then hit each other (punches, etc.) during this fight. The two then impale each other with their swords (shoulder area), with blood running out by one's blade. More brutal hitting, kicking, elbowing, etc. follows, including one head-butting the other and a kick in the face. Both end up slicing or stabbing each other more, with additional resultant blood.
  • A person throws a dagger at another, but a drop of blood deflects its course.
  • A person removes a dagger from their body (into which it was previously thrown), resulting in a great deal of resultant blood pouring out of the wound and them dying.



  • Reviewed November 8, 2004 / Posted December 31, 2004

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