Ou-yang Feng lives in the middle of a desert, where he acts as a middle man to various swordsmen in ancient China. One of those swordsmen is Huang Yao-shi, who has found some magic wine that causes one to forget the past. At another time, Huang met Mu-rong Yin and under the influence of drink, promised to marry Mu-rong’s sister Mu-rong Yang. Huang jilts her, and Mu-rong Yin hires Ou-yang to kill Huang. But then Mu-rong Yang hires Ou-yang to protect Huang. This is awkward, because Mu-rong Yang and Mu-rong Yin are in reality the same person. Other unrelated plot lines careen about. Among them is Ou-yang’s continuing efforts to destroy a band of horse thieves. Oy-yang recruits another swordsman, a man who is going blind and wants to get home to see his wife before his sight goes completely. The swordsman is killed. Ou-yang then meets another swordsman who doesn’t like wearing shoes. Oy-yang sends this man after the horse thieves, with better results. We then find out what a man must give…
Scott Hamilton <[email protected]>
User Reviews: "Ashes of Time Redux" is Wong Kar Wai’s venture into the martial arts genre. However, energetic action and narrative clarity take a backseat to the visual poetry that contemplates wounded hearts, loneliness and the memories of lost love that cut deeper than any sword. Best appreciated as a sensory experience, "Ashes of Time Redux" unfolds as a series of beautiful yet melancholic images like the soft brush strokes of a Chinese landscape painting. Even the sword fights are shot as swirling, hallucinatory dreamscapes. The haunting desert landscape gorgeously captured in saturated colors by cinematographer Christopher Doyle, a brooding cello score by Yo-Yo Ma and the beauty of the actors (an all-star Hong Kong cast) contribute to a movie experience that both pleases the senses and engages the heart.