Celebrated Director Ang Lee gave the world a treat 16 years ago when he released the critically acclaimed martial arts film, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," an epic film adapted from Wang Dulu's Crane-Ironnovels that is so packed with amazing action, swordplay and tension that makes it hard to replicate. Unfortunately, Yuen Woo-ping, the original film's action choreographer, attempted to reproduce it in the Netflix sequel "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny" and that is where the mistake was made.

Certainly, the sequel has equally epic swordfight scenes and is adapted from the same Crane-Iron novels as its predecessor but we will all just have to agree that Yuen is no Ang Lee. Much of what Yuen decided for the sequel would have been more welcome if it did not try to mirror Ang's 2000 film but it does have its own merits.

We all already know that much is lost and added during translation so it is not surprising at all that the purely English script for "Sword of Destiny" makes the original "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" fan feel like something was lost, considering it was adapted from Chinese literature. The idea and story is there but somehow, it does not seem at all to be like the story we expected.

Of course, the ultra-talented Michelle Yeoh returned for the sequel and the legendary Green Destiny sword is, once again, the reason for all the chaos. The fight choreography seemed to have been focused on gaining "oohs" and "aahs" and were undeniably choreographed and seen as a combat, unlike in Ang's film where both hand-to-hand combat and swordplay play out like a dance.

"[His] fight sequences, while fast and intricate, feel perfunctory. As the film ticks off the fights on its way to the big showdown, there isn't a moment that possesses the enchantment or emotion with which Mr. Lee infused 'Crouching Tiger,'" Mike Hale of The New York Times says.

One of the major complaints from the sequel is the obvious use of Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) to make the scenes more spectacular as opposed to the original where the CGI's main use was to remove the wires in the finished product.

"[The] new film chooses to replicate the exact same story beats of its predecessor while trying, and failing, to top its fight sequences with some ill-advised computer assistance," David Sims of The Atlantic writes.

Now, critics can probably let the CGI slide if only the film made up for it in other aspects but, sadly, this was not the case.

"While there are a few beautiful establishing shots, much of the plot is confined to a compound courtyard, where the Green Destiny is being protected by the House of Te [...] Narratively, there's an over-reliance on flashbacks to bring a sense of epic scope to what is a rather small and dramatically inert story," Katie Walsh of Los Angeles Times writes.

Walsh's review seems to resonate with another critic's observation.

"The fights are shorter and lack Lee's elegance and grandiose sweep, and the wire-work is kept to a minimum until the climactic battle. And above all, the 90-minute runtime (not counting 10 minutes of credits) doesn't give the characters enough time to stretch out," Tasha Robinson of The Verge explains.

Robinson's comment basically points out what Yuen's sequel could have focused on. The original "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" was rife with tension and, while there was much silence, much of the characters' stories are also revealed, fleshing them out without having to say it out loud. The sequel left us hanging somewhat in that respect.

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny" will still leave the audience in awe and is a worthy watch as long as you don't compare it to the original.

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