Fantastic set design; sumptuous, highly esthetic Tang Dynasty era extravaganza, with a first-class acting ensemble - - superlative!
An epic finale battle scene, and some superb swordplay/martial arts scenes, but predominantly palace intrigue, with a cogent and lucid story arc - - ambition rules!
A fitting platform for Gong Li's talents, and newcomer Jay Chou engenders support!
No need to comment on Chow Yun Fat, he always delivers.

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