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Score: 98%
Rating: PG-13
Publisher: Buena Vista
Region: 1
Media: UMD/1
Running Time: 99 minutes
Genre: Action/Martial Arts/Drama
Audio: Stereo

  • French, English and Original Chinese voice tracks
  • English and Spanish subtitles
  • Inside the Action: A Conversation with Quentin Tarantino and Jet Li
  • Storyboards

Jet Li stars as Nameless, a warrior who is called to the Kingdom of Qin to tell of his triumph over three of the most infamous assassins in the empire: Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung Man Yuk), Sky (Donnie Yen) and Broken Sword (Tony Leung Chiu Wai). As the story unfolds from three different perspectives, the real story begins to emerge, adding a sense of mystery and suspense to a film that, at first glance, looks like your typical high-flying, wire-acrobatics filled movie.

One of the more surprising elements of Hero is that it is more art than action movie. Every element of the film, from story to costumes to cinematography, screams art. Aside from the story, which unravels with each new element of ?truth?, each story also has its own visual style, denoted mostly by the colors chosen for each version of the story. I?m usually not one to pick out the ?artistic? elements of movies; yet, Hero does it in such a great way, it?s hard not to notice.

Hero is more than just vivid set pieces and storytelling. The main crux of the movie are the action sequences, which rely on wire-stunts and acrobatics. For those not familiar with wire stunts, picture most action scenes from The Matrix, only with a little more grace and without the heavy reliance on bullet-time. If you?re a fan of action movies, or at least the fighting sequences, there?s a lot to like here. And, like everything else, even the fights have a certain artistic element, especially when watching how the color schemes play in each sequence. Where Hero differs from movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, is that the action sequences, while numerous, aren?t the main event.

UMD movies haven?t really been known for packing in the extras, which makes Hero an even more impressive UMD offering. Hero includes three different language tracks: English, French and (the original) Chinese. English and Spanish subtitles are also available. Hero also includes storyboards and a behind the scenes segment with Quentin Tarantino and Jet Li.

Truthfully, Hero is a movie that is better seen on a big screen ? at least for the first time. But, even on the PSP?s small screen, its true artistic beauty and action still stand out. Whether you?re an action fan or just like a good story, Hero is highly recommended.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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