We rented Hero last night. With a narrative structure (and naïveté) seemingly poached directly from Rashomon, delivering one alternate, colour-themed flashback after another, the film is far more effective than if it had played its rather thin plot straight. Though it’s a bit repetitive. And slow-paced (which also reminds me of Rashomon). It’s also a pretty film. Its presentist and somewhat heavy-handed celebration of Chinese unity has been noted elsewhere, and is a bit jarring: apart from the propaganda value for the current regime, it’s not contextualized enough (other than the opening map). (To be fair, even Shakespeare’s plays frequently toed the Tudor line.) Still very watchable, especially if you don’t know what’s coming (note the absence of spoilers in this mini-review) and you like the weirdness that comes off a different narrative form. Oh yeah, and freaky wu xia swordfighting.