Hero (2002) and House of Flying Daggers (2004), but that was a lie. Okay, there is some martial arts action, but Flower has more in common with a plodding soap opera. It looks expensive but it's terminally boring. Truly, all that glitters is not gold.
Personally I found the colour palette of Hero to be beautiful in its simplicity, with Flower being the direct opposite. And while details in costumes and sets are gorgeous, they're overwhelmed by gaudy golden hues.
If the plotting was up to snuff it would compensate, but it fails there too. Chow certainly looks the part as a moody Emperor, as does Gong Li as his bored housewife Empress, but the drama between them is flat, barren and uninteresting. When something eventful happens it feels hollow. The only memorable character was the Imperial Doctor's wife (played by Chen Jin).
2 threaded chrysanthemums out of 5