Monday, March 4, 2019

The best fight in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon remains the best two person fight I've ever seen recorded on film.

When I read that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was coming to Netflix this month, I reminisced for a moment about the best fight scene I think I've seen in film (and it came from this movie). It takes place between Yu Shu Lien (who is played by Michelle Yeoh) and Jen Yu (who is played by actress Shang Ziyi).

Yu Shu Lien wields a dao (which is a saber that can be split into two smaller blades), a spear, dual hook swords, a metal club, and a broad sword. She does so in that order. Of note, Yu Shu Lien also grabs a monk's spade at one point but it turns out to be too heavy for her to manage correctly.

Jen Yu just uses the Green Destiny, which is a kind of magical blade that can just cut through anything (including stone) and never breaks. So it's a cheat weapon.

In the scene Jen is angry at everyone in her life who's been pressuring her, and she's also super eager to prove herself worthy of wielding the sword. Shu Lien has just told Jen that they have hidden Lo, Jen's bandit ex-boyfriend, in the Wudan Mountains, and Jen is extremely flippant at this news. Shu Lien has no f*cks left to give and is tired of Jen's attitude so a fight breaks out, and it's amazing.

Shu Lien is a way better fighter using inferior tools, and so they're basically equal. As a veteran warrior, it's mesmerizing to watch Michelle Yeoh's character grab weapon after weapon to use against the sword that just slices through them like they are nothing. If she was going to kill Jen, she could have beat her. But that's not what's going on. She says as much too with the line, "Without the Green Destiny, you are nothing." Being a Brat, Jen fails to accept defeat gracefully and ends up hurting Shu Lien in a minor way before fleeing. 


  1. And the women probably had a good time filming it, although I imagine there were many bruises involved.

  2. I've never understood fight scenes. I can't get into them.

  3. It was an awesome movie. We would watch it again.

  4. It's been a while since I've seen Crouching Tiger, but I still remember how awed I was by the balletic grace of those two women. But then I believe Michelle Yeow studied ballet before moving into martial arts, which I think is great 'cause I'm a dance nut!