It’s the Qing Dynasty in China. Legendary warrior Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-fat) is on the brink of retirement, hoping to settle down with the love of his life, fellow warrior Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh).
Young Jen Yu (Ziyi Zhang) is the teenage daughter of a Manchu aristocrat and has very little time left before her arranged marriage is completed. Her lover, Lo “Dark Cloud” (Chen Chang), is an outlaw hunted by the authorities and desperate to stop Jen’s wedding.
When a mysterious thief steals Green Destiny, Mu Bai’s prized sword, all hell breaks loose.
Shot in classic martial-arts style and featuring some of the best fight scenes ever choreographed, this film is an insightful and incisive commentary on what happens when a woman decides to break into a man’s world. It’s directed by Ang Lee, based on a novel by Chinese author Wang Dulu.
It also features the best bar fight ever: