The colors! The colors! The colors!
The colors were great.
There could have been no plot whatsoever, and I'd have sat through it for twice as long, just watching the visuals.
It was a...kung-fu mythology kinda movie. Kinda like "Crouching Tiger," only more so. People fly. Everyone's outfit is dramatically color matched to the scene. Absurd feats of impossible precision swordsmanship are routine. There was very little blood. People could be impaled by a sword, while wearing pristine white, doing backflips in a canyon full of red dust, and die wearing pristine white, having leaked (at most) one dramatic drop. If you defeated a full cadre of guards, they stepped back, bowed, and left, rather than getting tiresome with the decapitations. It had that stylized, platonic-ideal kinda thing. It was absurd and spectacular.
Also, I don't think there was a guy under forty in the whole movie who wasn't drop dead gorgeous. Broken Sword and Sky, yow. Even the Emperor was a stud.
And the COLORS!
However, it was definitely a two hanky flick. Not only did everyone die, everyone died like, four or five times, in intriguing new tear-jerking ways, with new twists on tearjerking betrayals each time. And that poor apprentice, Moon! Sheesh! She was the one you felt sorry for, really--she had to give away her master's sword about fifty times, got killed or beaten up or whatnot a few dozen times, watched everybody die god knows how many times. (I appreciate this, because of how much I wanted to smack that particular actress around in "Crouching Tiger," so it was nice to actually feel sorry for her for a change.) I lost track of how often they stabbed Broken Sword. A lot, anyway. That guy's innards had to look like beef jerky.
It was really quite fabulous.
Did I mention the colors?