All set for Crouching Tiger sequel

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: Sword Of Destiny stars (from left) JuJu Chan, 30, Michelle Yeoh, 53, Harry Shum Jr, 33, and Natasha Liu Bordizzo, 21.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: Sword Of Destiny stars JuJu Chan, 30, Michelle Yeoh (left), 53, Harry Shum Jr (centre), 33, and Natasha Liu Bordizzo (right), 21.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: Sword Of Destiny stars (from left) JuJu Chan, 30, Michelle Yeoh, 53, Harry Shum Jr, 33, and Natasha Liu Bordizzo, 21.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: Sword Of Destiny stars JuJu Chan (above), 30, Michelle Yeoh, 53, Harry Shum Jr, 33, and Natasha Liu Bordizzo, 21.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES/BEIJING • The 16-year wait for the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon will be over tomorrow when Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: Sword Of Destiny hits Netflix.

Returning in her role as warrior Yu Shu Lien, Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh joined co-stars Harry Shum Jr, a Costa RicanAmerican, and Natasha Liu Bordizzo, an Australian-Chinese, at AMC Universal City Walk in California for the movie's premiere on Monday.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) gave Taiwanese-born director Lee Ang an international hit and won the film a Best Foreign Film Oscar.

Sword Of Destiny is directed by Hong Kong film-maker Yuen Woo Ping, who choreographed the first movie.

Hong Kong actor Donnie Yen, 52, plays Yu's fiance and American actor Jason Scott Lee is the villian in the film about swordsmen who try to protect a legendary sword.

At Monday's event, Hong Kong-born actress JuJu Chan gave attendees a foretaste of the fight scenes in the film as she showed off her high-kicking skills in her stilettos.

The movie, co-produced with the Weinstein Company, was made by a crew of more than 700 people from 22 countries, including teams from The Lord Of The Rings, Xinhua reported.

Written by American screenwriter John Fusco, it will appear in English on Netflix and in Mandarin in Imax theatres in the United States.

Ahead of its US launch, the movie was released in China last Friday to mixed reviews, said Xinhua.

While it drew praise for its beautiful and thrilling martial arts sequences, some moviegoers criticised the film for being Westernised.

One user wrote on Weibo: "The dialogue seemed to adopt a 'Western accent' to cater to foreign audiences. Except for the Chinese actors and great martial arts choreography, it's just like the translated version of a foreign film."

Others complained about the plot.

"The story is dull. It's nothing comparable to the first Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," said another Weibo user.

The film took in more than 100 million yuan (S$21.5 million) in its first two days of release, said Xinhua.

The box office was led by Stephen Chow's Mermaid, in the comedy's second week of release.

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures released Mermaid in North America last Friday, scoring the biggest opening for a Chinese-made movie in a decade, according to Forbes magazine.

With a haul of US$985,000 (S$1.38 million) on 35 screens, it bettered the US$10.6-million debut by Jet Li's Fearless in 2006 on 1,806 screens.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2016, with the headline 'All set for Crouching Tiger sequel'. Print Edition | Subscribe