While Zhang Yimou’s new kung fu epic, House of Flying Daggers, is getting rave reviews as it opens in the U.S., the movie has been largely panned by Chinese reviewers, according to the Guardian: “Although House of Flying Daggers grossed a reasonable 150m renminbi at the box office, newspapers and internet bulletin boards said it was a triumph of cinematic style over plot substance. ‘Powerfully soporific’ was the head line on a review in the Beijing Times; ‘Zhang should go back to photography’, suggested the Information Times. The harshest was the Beijing Star Daily, saying it ‘struggled to pass the test of a real kung fu movie’. ” The full report is here (and I just noticed that Xinhua has run the same story, yet without mentioning the Guardian).
Zhang’s previous film, Hero, was widely criticized in China for its distortion of history.