Saturday, 22 March 2014

FILM@LXG: Man of Tai Chi

Oh my goodness me - where to start with this? To watch Man of Tai Chi is to get a ringside seat into the near comatose mind of debut director, Keanu Reeves...

Hello, hello, is there anybody there? Keanu seems to be stuck in a world where the action scenes from the Matrix keep running and re-running, until the film itself starts to wear thin.

To say you've seen this all before would be an understatement.A typical martial arts film, where an innocent martial arts practitioner is tempted by 'the dark side' (played by a one-dimensional Reeves, dressed in grey or black), and bucket-loads of money - to beat all his opponents and ultimately commit the ultimate Tai Chi sin - to kill.

There is hardly any character development. There is no explanation as to the motivation of Reeves' character, and main protagonist, Tiger Chen (a veteran stunt artist from the Matrix films) struggles to convince - unfortunately looking more like a bow-legged uncle than a powerful young martial artist exponent.

Adding to the cast is a cardboard Karen Mok, playing a detective trying to track down Reeves' illegal underground fighting tournaments. She's got to be possibly the worst detective in history, always turning up late at the scene of a crime, and apparently hiding in plain view, so that the bad guys always know where she is...

What a film, what a film... if you're watching purely for fight scenes, then you won't be disappointed, as our Tai Chi hero is pitted against all other forms of martial arts, to prove to everyone just how powerful Tai Chi can be.

But after half an hour of non-stop grunts and groaning sound effects as they kick the stuffing out of each other, the noise can start testing your patience... 

To give this movie 2 out of 10 would be generous... All that's left to be said is... "Keanu, what were you thinking? Maybe you took one too many blue pills?"

WARNING: The trailer is much better than the actual film!