If the outsized mayhem of the previous trailer for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny looked a little too far removed from Ang Lee’s more measured predecessor, the new preview course-corrects and sells the sequel as part of the same graceful tradition as the Oscar-winning original. Michelle Yeoh returns as Yu Shu Lien, who must keep the Green Destiny sword out of the hands of her enemy. In preparation for battle, she trains a young woman in the subtle art of flowery branch combat and wonders about her pupil’s feelings toward a dreamy young man held prisoner by the town. Also, Ip Man’s Donnie Yen shows up to engage in a scenic battle on a frozen lake.
Directed by Yuen Woo-ping—the choreographer of the original Crouching Tiger and of the Matrix and Kill Bill movies—the film seems to boast several standout action sequences. Most of them seem to haven been shot the old-fashioned way—with actors dangling from wires 30 feet above the ground and nervous insurance representatives pacing back and forth just out of frame. If Woo-ping can marry the stellar action with a story that’s emotionally involving, this might be something to behold.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny will be released simultaneously on Netflix and in select IMAX theaters on February 26.