REVIEW: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, a Netflix Original Film.

Netflix Original Films had a pretty good track record prior to the release of this Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-sequel. Beasts of No Nation is an excellent BAFTA-nominated war drama, and The Ridiculous Six, though awful and offensive, isn’t without its supporters, as it is such a ‘by-the-book’ offensive gross-out comedy. It saddens me to say that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny makes Beasts of No Nation look like the exception to the rule that Netflix films aren’t that great…

I had a really tough time watching this film, I must admit. I watched this film piecemeal, for I just couldn’t watch it all in one go. After the first 15 minutes, or so, the film just lost me completely. But, over time, I managed to reach the end of the film. A part of me wants to call it unwatchable, but that wouldn’t be a remotely objective representation of what this film is. I am going to be brutally honest, though. Had this been just a regular theatrical release by any regular distribution company, then it would be categorized as a cash-grab. But it’s tough to really call it that when it has just been released on Netflix.

And it’s not like I didn’t want to like this film. Harry Shum Jr. of Glee-fame stars in this film, and I really like that guy – but this film, and his performance in it, sadly, didn’t leave me pleased at all. The only good thing I can say about it is that some of its shots looked really cool, and there was a nice fight scene on a frozen lake. It’s also just really, really weird to have the entire film in the English language. Ugh. I expected parts of the film to blow me away – to truly impress me. Instead, it just left me with a sinking feeling that this was a giant waste of everyone’s time and money.

I can’t, in good faith, recommend this film to anyone really. I think it will upset fans of the original Ang Lee-film, confuse newcomers, and bore pretty much everyone. It is a long-winded, drawn-out, tedious film. At the time of writing Netflix has released three ‘Netflix Original Films’, and while this isn’t the worst of the three (that honor goes to Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous Six), its position as a sequel to a beloved martial arts film makes its flaws even more noticeable and upsetting to audiences even remotely familiar with the original. If you end up watching this film, then I truly hope you enjoy it more than I did.

3.5 out of 10

– I’m Jeffrey Rex

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