Monday, 25 August 2014

Man of Tai Chi

[Post #26 of the Blaugust Challenge!]

This Chinese martial arts flick follows the life of Tai Chi practicioner Tiger Chen, who is manipulated by a very charismatic antagonist in the form of Keanu Reeves to begin fighting for all the wrong reasons which causes all sorts of problems in Tiger's life. Balance is a strong theme here, and almost all the fights are spectacular displays of hand to hand combat. Yes, there is some light wire work until the very end where due to the nature of the combatants there is heavier use of it, and there is one unexplained (BS) move that might trouble the UFC die hards.

So fighting. Much intense. Wow.

As a story it works pretty well, though there are some questions not answered in the telling and obviously there are subtitles for those of us linguistically challenged. The hero is likeable enough, as are the female leads, but it's Keanu who steals the show as the slightly insane bad guy. I did have issue with the "fight announcer" lady though - her lines are wooden (possibly intentional) nor is she decent eye candy (given her dress codes I assume she's meant to be).

I also took some issue with not seeing the full length of some fights and for some inexplicable reason the movie tries to give you epilepsy right at the start and around halfway through with a burst of intense flashing lights. Obviously the heavier use of wire work for the final fight also makes it a bit of a let down after all the previous combats. Despite all that it is a decent film, one I give three kicks out of five.

Blaugust Bonus: I never was into sports of any kind during my school years (though I did like badminton) so I've always been quite unfit. Not enough to be fat or obese but just ... weak? :P It was only after I was working when I decided to try out capoeira. I can still remember the first class where I could barely do one pushup and that irritating noise of berimbau music. Well I soon found myself enjoying that music and while I never became Superman I did manage to shed a bit of weight. Being sore all over after each class became an awesome feeling, and I think it did wonders for curing some shyness. I stuck with it for a number of years but eventually had to give it up to concentrate my funds elsewhere (aka. I got married :P). 


  1. Keanu went straight up Mortal Combat on this.

    1. Yes he did! Though he was way too -stiff- and outclassed to be taken seriously as the main adversary though. :(