An astoundingly beautiful but thematically troubling wuxia film, Zhang Yimou's Hero was recieved well in North America after the release of the similarly epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. However, while that film preached about the tragic results of seeking revenge, Hero takes a much more forgiving view of totalitarian leadership and the use of extraordinary measures for the (percieved) benefit of all. While the central message remains controversial, one cannot fault the amazing cinematography (from Christopher Doyle) or the frequently impressive fight scenes featuring Jet Li, Maggie Cheung, Donnie Yen, Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang. The plot takes the form of a fable or folk legend, but takes some interesting turns before the end. Highly entertaining, though it feels oddly neutered.