Pretty Pictures
The House of Flying Daggers
Review Review by Ross Anthony

If you're up for a soapy love story that gallops across a snowy Autumn Hallmark card, then this film should do you just fine.

Named, "The House of Flying Daggers," this picture spends little-to-no time in any house. But, I must say, when the daggers appear, they are pretty darned cool. Cutting though the air with ease, impossible accuracy and even a fatal sense of humor. In fact, one of the film's funniest moments has our handsome leading man fire off four arrows from a bow in rapid succession. The last of the four catches up with the first three as if they'd been launched together. All four find their targets as if they had eyes and brains of their own. And so fly the daggers.

But projectiles aside, the picture is squarely a love story. A clever vying of spy vs. spy, with fragile hearts in the delicate daring balance. Though promising to be a war film spanning massive China, the bouts are only a backdrop to the soap opera.

The battles serve to punctuate and support a game of trust, distrust and unpredictable reigned passion between the leads. This drama is painted across beautiful landscapes of orange leaves and snow textured bark.

Though I'm not much for soap, the film still cajoled me until a climax and resolution that had me wincing. As sharp and as precise as the daggers fly, that ending is sloppy, dull, agonizing and ultimately ridiculous.

Would have been a strong B+, potential A-, but the ending breaks its back.

This film screened at a Laemmle Theatre.


  • The House of Flying Daggers. Copyright © 2004.
  • Starring Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, Zhang Ziyi, Song Dandan.
  • Directed by Zhang Yimou.
  • Screenplay by Li Feng, Zhang Yimou, Wang Bin.
  • Produced by Bill Kong, Zhang Yimou at Sony Pictures/Edko Films/Beijing New Picture.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:09:06 PDT