Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon arrives in the United States amid so much fanfare and critical adulation that most viewers will be surprised to find what a simple movie it is, a children’s tale filled with warriors and witches, mystical swords and magic potions. It’s light-hearted material for director Ang Lee whose previous works are marked by emotional gravity and unflattering realism. But the always versatile Lee is remarkably assured with Crouching Tiger’s melodrama. His sharp eye finds the smallest details and draws our attention to them in sly ways. He also proves to be a masterful martial arts director, staging the most inventive, lyrical fight scenes in recent memory. With the help of some of Taiwan’s best actors, including Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, and startling newcomer Zhang ZiYi, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is first rate entertainment, free of pretense and self-import, and always eager to please.