First of all, the story was beautifully simple, yet intriguingly complex. (I'll probably be using the word "beautiful" a lot in this review, because that's the best way to describe the movie). At first, the plot seemed pretty straightforward. But as the movie progressed, the story became more and more captivating. During the beginning, I was totally focused on the dueling. However, about an hour into the film, I wanted to spend less time on the fighting and more on the story. (Not saying that there was too much fighting, but rather, the story was that riveting). I wanted to see what would happen next! The movie focuses on themes such as revenge, sacrifice, and the good of the whole.
Let me take a step away from the awesomeness of Hero and briefly address probably the one thing that did bother me. Over the course of the film, there are a few people that make great sacrifices. As I was watching, I couldn't help but think: Wow. They must be pretty committed to sacrifice that. They are real heros. But, then it turns out that they didn't make that sacrifice. So, I felt like my emotions were cheated a little bit.
Ok. Not only was the story excellent, but the visuals were beautiful as well. The cinematography, the art design, everything was stunning. The phrase that came to mind as I was watching it was "visual poetry". It is a gorgeous film. You could randomly pick any frame from the movie and hang it up on your wall. I can't think of anything else to say besides "beautiful".
The music was also really good.
Maybe there were more than just one thing that bothered me. Another was some CG water. There's a shot in the beginning of Let Li running in slow motion through falling water. You can see the individual drops splatter on his face. While, the concept is good and it looks kind of cool, it sill looks CG and a little weird. The same thing can be said about the candle flames at the end of the movie. They are flickering in the wind, but they just looked fake to me.
But, overall, this was an incredible movie. The story was engaging, the visuals were superb and the music was great. Well done, well done.
But that's just my opinion...