Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Assassin

As punishment for botching a mission due to a moment of weakness, a skilled female assassin is assigned to target a cousin to whom she was once betrothed. In The Assassin, director Hou Hsiao-hsien treats the viewer like a fishing lure, periodically and briefly reeling them in for scenes of great tension while mostly letting them drift on a painterly sea of tedium and puzzlement. The film clearly strives to be an arty, cerebral martial arts movie a la Crouching Tiger but is so languidly paced and limitedly plotted that it totally loses your interest by the time it reaches the intrigue.
** out of ****