Flying Dragon Leaping Tiger is a 2002 wuxia film starring Louis Fan, Sammo Hung, Cheng Pei-Pei and Jade Leung. Yes, given Cheng "Queen of Swords" Pei-pei's presence in the film, its quite obvious that the filmakers deliberately changed the title in order to capitalize on Cheng's previous film, the award-winning box-office hit, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Set in the late Qing Dynasty, in the Chinese-Mongolian desert, Bai Xiao-hu (Louis Fan) is a wandering swordsman who seeks to be trained by Liu Ru-yan (Cheng Pei-pei), a former warrior whose tragic past made her a hermit and vagabond. At the same time, Ru-yan's adopted daughter, Yun-long (Jade Leung) is on another quest of her own seeking her estranged father, Lu Zheng-yang (Sammo Hung), who on the other hand is on his own mission of vengeance against a former friend turned bandit clan leader.
"Flying Tropes, Leaping Index":
- Acrofatic: Lu Zheng-yang, being portrayed by Sammo Hung and all.
- Action Girl: Ru-yan (Cheng Pei-pei) and Yun-long (Jade Leung).
- Advertising by Association: The trailers, posters and promotional pieces all proudly declares this movie to be "Cheng Pei-Pei's next wuxia film after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon!"
- Advertised Extra: Cheng Pei-peis Ru-yan, who dies after the first arc of the movie.
- An Arm and a Leg: Yun-longs fight scenes against the bandits have her frequently hacking off limbs and legs.
- Badass Cape: On Ru-yan, Xiao-hu and Lu Zheng-yang. Although Xiao-hu would ditch his cape when the battle gets rough.
- Censored Child Death: In the Troubled Backstory Flashback of Ru-yans life, the audience sees her baby son being trapped in a burning building, before quickly snapping back to the present. Its implied that her child had died that night which causes Ru-yan and Zheng-yang splitting as a couple.
- Evil F Ormer Friend: Kiu-hong to Zheng-yang, whose betrayal leads to the death of Zheng-yang and Ru-yans baby son years ago.
- In a Single Bound: Thanks to Wire Fu. One of Zheng-yangs fight scene had him leaping over a hundred meters vertically through the air onto the top of a three-story tower.
- Long Haired Prettyboy: Bai Xiao-hu.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: In the final battle between Zheng-yang and Big Bad Kiu Hong, Zheng-yang wins by inflicting a mortal injury into his opponent. Rather than submit to defeat, Kiu Hong instead finishes himself off with his sword.
- Big Badass Battle Sequence: right at the beginning of the film, there is a massive battle scene in a valley between Imperial soldiers and desert bandits.
- Deadly Dodging: In the peak of Zheng-yangs battle against Kiu-hongs mooks, several of those mooks decides not to engage Zheng-yang in close combat, instead resorting to flinging dynamites at him. Zheng-yang dodges their flung explosives instead, causing plenty of mooks to blow up their own colleagues and thinning down their ranks.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Ru-yan dies in the first half of the movie, right in front of her protégé Xiao-hu.
- The Obi-Wan: Ru-yan to Bai Xiao-hu.
- One-Man Army: Most of the name characters can take down plenty of mooks by themselves and take plenty of names (save for Zheng-yang whos a Badass Pacifist). Subverted if Xiao-hu is fighting with either Ru-yan or Yun-long, at which point theyre an Army of Two.
- Sword Fight: Throughout the movie, where Xiao-hu, Yun-long, Zheng-yang and Ru-yan takes on legions and legions of bandits.
- Thirsty Desert: The entire movie is set in the Gobi Desert on the China-Mongolian border.
- Thou Shall Not Kill: Lu Zheng-yang is an expert swordsman and fighter, but he notably didnt kill even a single person throughout the many fight scenes hes in. Even when surrounded by legions of Kiu-hongs mooks, Zheng-yang instead whacks everyone who gets in his way unconscious or simply dodges their attacks, the only questionable "kill" he might get being causing a mooks sword to break and bounce aside hitting another mook to the face (whether the mook died or not is uncertain). And since his Arch-Enemy Kiu-hong kills himself, that means Zheng-yang most likely end the movie with his hands clean.
- Wire Fu: Most of the fight scenes involves characters leaping all over the place In a Single Bound, a rather typical wuxia trademark.