Hero (2002) - Synopsis
At the height of China's Warring States period, the country was divided into seven kingdoms: Qin, Zhao, Han Wei, Yan, Chu and Qi. For years, the separate kingdoms fought ruthlessly for supremacy. As a result, the populace endured decades of death and suffering.
The Kingdom of Qin was the most determined of all. The Qin King was obsessed with conquering all of China and becoming her first Emperor. He had long been the target of assassins throughout the other six states. Of all the would-be killers, none inspired as much fear as the three legendary assassins, Broken Sword, Flying Snow and Sky.
To anyone who defeated the three assassins, the King of Qin promised great power, mountains of gold and a private audience with the King himself. But defeating the killers is a near impossible task. For ten years no one came close to claiming the prize. So when the enigmatic county sheriff, Nameless, came to the palace bearing the legendary weapons of the slain assassins, the King was impatient to hear his story. Sitting in the palace, only ten paces from the King, Nameless told his extraordinary tale:
For ten years, Nameless studied the way of the sword and resolved to challenge the three assassins. Using the secrets of swordsmanship; Nameless defeated the mighty Sky in a furious showdown. Following this initial victory, he destroyed the famed duo of Flying Snow and Broken Sword. This time using a weapon far more devastating than his sword - their extraordinary love for each other.
The King hung on every detail of this curious story. But then something most unexpected happened - the King has a different story to tell of how Nameless really came to sit there, face to face with the King!
It appears that everything was not so simple. In the centre of the intrigue sits Nameless -a solitary ranger and the King of Qin - the ruler of the Kingdom, with only ten steps between them. Within those ten steps holds an earth-shattering tale of love, honour and duty, a story that moves beyond the reaches of history. A story about what it means to be a HERO.
To bring to life this epic tale of love, loyalty, jealousy and intrigue, HERO assembled an unprecedented collection of Asia's hottest talent. International martial arts superstar Jet Li heads the stellar cast as Nameless, the enigmatic county sheriff who earns his audience with the mighty King of Qin. Hong Kong megastars Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Maggie Cheung Man Yuk, fresh from their award-winning performances in Wong Kar Wai's 'In the Mood for Love', reunite to play the assassins Broken Sword (Leung) and Flying Snow (Cheung). Zhang Ziyi, who has gone from strength to strength since her critically acclaimed debut in 'The Road Home' will play Broken Sword's devoted servant, Moon, whilst distinguished veteran Chen Daoming plays the powerful King of Qin. Rising star and martial artist Donnie Yen will play the third assassin, Sky.
Two-time Academy Award® nominee, director Zhang Yimou is joined by Award® winning 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' producer, Bill Kong, Cannes Technical Grand Prize winner Christopher Doyle as director of photography, and straight from his roaring success in 'Shaolin Soccer' comes action director Tony Ching Siu Tung. Academy Award® winning costume designer Emi Wada and Academy Award® winning composer Tan Dun complete the formidable, star-studded crew.