Writer: Michael G Cooney (Screenplay)
Starring: Tiger Hu Chen, Keanu Reeves, Karen Mok, Jai Yu, Qing Ye, Simon Yam
Plot: A young martial artist’s unparalleled Tai Chi skills land him in a highly lucrative underworld fight club.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Solid Martial Arts Film
Story: Man of Tai Chi starts as Inspector Suen Jing Si (Mok) looks to have finally tracked down underground street fighter boss Donaka mark (Reeves) only for him to kill his latest fighter after learning of his connection with the Inspector. Donaka must search for a new fighter with Inspector Si needing to drop the case.
We move on to meet young fighter Tiger Chen Lin Hu (Chen) who is giving all his effort into learning of Master Yang (Yu) who is about to enter the national combat championships using his art tai chi. His performances grabs Donaka attention and now he can look to recruit his latest fighter.
Accepting the job for Donaka, Tiger enters the world of underground fighter against his Master’s wishes but it isn’t long before Tiger finds himself face tougher and tougher opposition which leads to him having to Donaka other business outside of underground fighting, this will be where he meets him limits.
Thoughts on Man of Tai Chi
Characters/Performance – Tiger is a naïve young fighter who has spent his life looking after the people he loves and wanting to show his skills in his form of tai chi. He is led a stray by Donaka going against his beliefs, style and tradition. Donaka is the ruthless owner of the underground fighting scene, he pays for what he wants, flaunts that he can get away from it all to the Inspector chasing him and most importantly we don’t see him in combat so we are unsure of his fighting skills. Inspector Si is a strong officer that wants to do anything to take down Donaka because she knows his threat.
Tiger Hu Chen dos well to show off his skills in tai chi in this leading role but this is more about his fighting ability over his acting ability. Keanu steps behind the camera for double duty here and does look like he enjoys the villainous role but does have a couple of strange moments through the film. Karen Mok is good in the supporting role in all her what feel like limited scenes.
Story – The story is naïve fighter gets drawn into an underworld of the sport he loves to make enough money to save the people he loves from losing everything they have earnt. Yes, this has been done before and has been done better and worse but this is still a good watch and easy to enjoy.
Action– We have plenty of fight sequences going on through the film that all hugely entertaining but you don’t ever feel like Tiger will lose.
Final Thoughts – This is an easy martial arts film to watch, you don’t ever see Tiger losing, but I did really like the fact we never see Donaka fight until the final fight.
Overall: Easy to watch, nice relaxing average martial arts film.