Apart from anything else, this movie was incredibly beautiful. Everything was beautiful. Even the desert was beautiful, in an eerie, desolate kind of way. I was left feeling very serene afterwards, which seemed a little strange considering the power and energy of the combat sequences. When I first saw The Matrix, the fight scenes of which were nearly as impressive as CTHD's, I came out of the cinema surging with hyperactivity. I couldn't sit down, and had to keep telling myself that running sideways up the nearest wall was not a bright idea. But this movie had a very different feel.

Quiet, peaceful.

I was wondering how it was that a movie featuring such amazing fighting could be quiet and peaceful, and decided it must have a lot to do with how the fights were filmed. The characters move with such grace, dignity and poise (especially Li Bu Mai), that even the most powerful sword slash radiates total calm. And the surrounding environment is usually breathtaking. The fighting in the trees comes to mind here. I was almost mesmerised by the swaying and bending of all that greenery.

A lot of people I've spoken to about this movie, and a few people who submitted writeups under this node have mentioned the obvious wire-work as though it's a bad thing. IMO, it was clear right from the start that the creator of the film was not attempting to make that part of it look realistic. The characters floated through the air as if they were human marionettes, dreamlike. And I'm quite sure that that effect was deliberate. You don't need to suspend your disbelief, because it's not supposed to be interpreted as a reality.

You can discuss whether Jet Li's fu would have been better, you can think about the film's references to feminism, and you can weigh up the lack of realism ... and more power to you, if you enjoy that sort of thing. But for me, this film just represented a beautiful dream, and the best way to experience it is to simply watch, and be immersed.