Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun Fat) is a warrior who has achieved a very high level of skill in the Wudan system of martial arts. This enables him, and other Wudan disciples to do incredible things like run up walls, jump over buildings, and fly through the air without regard for gravity. This is not unlike "The Matrix", except that they do it without the aid of flashy sunglasses and a styling full-leather outfit. No guns either, which is unusual for Chow Yun Fat.

Li Mu Bai's partner, Yu Shu Lien (played by the distinguished Michelle Yeoh) is no slouch either, and can hold her own against nearly any foe.

The premise is that Li Mu Bai, yearning for a simpler existence, gives up his 400-year-old Jade Sword, entrusting its protection to an associate. However, since watching Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien sit around and drink tea is a trifle tedious, this noble effort of Li Mu Bai does not work out quite as planned. The sword is stolen, and this plot device enables the movie to logically incoroprate a wide range of impressive Kung Fu fights.

While Li Mu Bai is more than willing to teach a few people some hard lessons about the finer points of Wudan, Yu Shu Lien is exceptionally eager to get to the bottom of this whole sword-stealing business before anyone else, and so she gets a proportionately larger share of the action.

This movie has been described as a Chinese version of "The Matrix", and while the comparison isn't exact, they do share the same feel and intensity. Certainly a worthy entrant into Kung Fu Flicks: 101, if only as an example of what happens when this kind of movie gets a decent sized budget.

Entertaining, IMHO. But I liked "Five Deadly Venoms" too. YMMV.