AS much as we've all come to rely on Hollywood for providing us with the majority of our entertainment, there comes a time when exploding buildings, high speed car chases and a patronising depiction of other cultures should be replaced with something more authentic.

British movies tend to fall into one of two categories, either a startlingly good/dreadful gangster film, or Four Weddings and a Wimbledon Diary. The same stereotypes could be levelled at Chinese films...full of pretty but unlikely fighting and very little else.

Zhang Yimou's 'Hero' cannot be tarred with this brush. The reason is quite simple. 'Hero' shows you things that you won't have seen in cinemas before and for this reason alone it's surely worth a watch.

Let's go out on a limb and state that this film is better than 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon', particularly in terms of action and above all else, cinematography.

The plot is seemingly simple, yet develops at a steady pace as Jet Li's nameless hero visits a Quin Warlord intent upon unifying China's six separate regions. To criticise the plot of 'Hero' is to miss the big point like an over-eager Henman in a semi-final. It is a film to be marvelled at and whilst plot is important, it is secondary to spectacle.

Some may lament the absence of a gobby Chris Tucker-esque character and some may detest unnecessary action set pieces with no real bearing on the story. A further worry is that subtitles have often dissuaded the lethargic filmgoer from stepping foot through those shiny cinema doors.

But if you fancy a fresh cinematic experience, 'Hero' exceeds expectations and provides genuine thrills.