‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2’ Coming To Netflix, Revising Legendary Kung Fu Movie With ‘Sword of Destiny’

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2 is on its way to Netflix and theaters. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2 is scheduled for a simultaneous opening via IMAX screens and Netflix on February 26. The original film is a classic and the first film of the Chinese wuxia genre made for an international audience. Familiar, older faces return for this sequel, 15 years after the original.

The trailer shows a wise, mature Michelle Yeoh, now 53-years-old, along with kung fu cinema’s current emperor, Donnie Yen, hinting at the sequel’s story, known as Sword of Destiny and The Green Destiny.

The release of this Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel already received a backlash from theater owners who are protesting the simultaneous opening on Netflix and silver screens. More than a year ago, after the producers announced the unusual release strategy, some big cinema chains strongly opposed it, and refused to carry the film despite pleading from the head of IMAX. Regal, AMC, along with international chains, say they won’t show this film in their theaters.

Regal executive Russ Nunley told Deadline that they aren’t giving the film a chance.

“…will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3 inches wide on a smart phone. We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear.”

Alongside its theater woes, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny has also been forced to comply with censorship laws governing films that want to be shown in China. Censorship of movies is common by the Chinese government. Leaked documents show the state agency responsible for censoring movies has already instructed the film’s producers to change certain elements.

According to the document, the Chinese government hopes to prevent Chinese citizens from making the association of what’s depicted on screen with government overthrow, a constant fear held by Chinese authorities which makes them clamp down on artistic depictions.

China Digital Times published the leak and translated it into English.

“Regarding descriptions of the ‘White Lotus Society,’ the name must be replaced with a made-up martial arts faction.
We advise you to downplay ‘Oppose the Qing, Restore the Ming’ content.
In fight scenes, you must take care to control the amount of gore and violence.
On page 38 of the script, Yu Xiulian’s line ‘A superior army breaks its enemy without fighting,’ should be corrected to ‘The army which breaks its enemy without fighting is the superior one.'”

After the original Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was released in the United States in 2000, you could hear jaws hit the floor in theaters around the country. It paved the way for the rise in kung fu movies, and few films in the genre are as well-remembered as this cinematic classic.

This lauded piece of cinema gripped audiences from multiple angles. It was the first widespread display of such overwhelming wire work, which helped the characters float into the sky and drift along the tops of buildings, skipping across rooftops as if playing hopscotch. The martial arts was choreographed by the legendary Yuen Woo-ping, who went on to be a part of western cinematic works like The Matrix and the Kill Bill series.

What sets Crouching Tiger apart from the average kung fu movie is its depth. Perhaps that is the factor that leads critics to call it a westernized martial arts flick; the intertwining romantic storylines lend added drama to the sweeping cinematography showcasing China’s natural beauty. Legendary weapons are swung high and low in intense scenes of rivalry and within the larger dramatic premise. Fans surely hope Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2 can equal the acclaim of its predecessor.

[Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images]