A young martial artist’s unparalleled Tai Chi skills land him in a highly lucrative underworld fight club.
I first went into ‘Man of Tai Chi’ questionable of what to expect, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find this to be a thoroughly impressive action film featuring numerous martial arts sequences that are absolutely gorgeous as well as being intense and brutal at the same time. The film tells the tale of one man’s quest to find himself and all of the trials and tribulations he faces throughout the process as he becomes involved with a high stakes underground fight club run by a ruthless tycoon. Using a new form of Tai Chi that he has developed himself into a fighting form, he fights his way up the chain in an attempt to save everything he loves, while risking losing himself in the process.
‘Man of Tai Chi’ is the directorial debut by Keanu Reeves, and reunites him with legendary Matrix Trilogy fight choreographer Yuen Wo Ping. Keanu Reeves did a very impressive job with directing this one, and while I personally don’t feel he is a bad actor, if ‘Man of Tai Chi’ is any indication, I think he might have far more talent behind the camera than he does in front of it. Reeves also stars in the film in his most ruthless role yet. He portrays an emotionless and ruthless tycoon who cares about nothing other than the advancement of his own creations and foundations. Tiger Chen gives a brilliant performance as well as does the majority of the cast. Some dialogue is spoken in English (mainly that spoken by Reeves and a couple of other characters) but the majority of the film is in Mandarin and Cantonese, but English Subtitles are of course present for the non English speaking dialogue.
‘Man of Tai Chi’ is an impressive directorial debut from Keanu Reeves. It is beautiful, intense, filled with impressive fight sequences and really has a lot of heart as well. I would highly recommend checking this one out if you are a fan of action or martial arts films at all. It really is a noteworthy film in the action genre and one that fans of which are quite likely to thoroughly enjoy.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Man of Tai Chi’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation is quite impressive on this one and that becomes quite evident when things start moving at a fast speed in numerous scenes, in addition to sequences featuring both alternating colored and strobe lights. Throughout all of the frenetic activity in the film, the colors are always smooth, sharp and nothing blends or is any way anything but perfect. Considering the gorgeous colors and fight sequences featured in this movie, I think most will be quite impressed with this video presentation.
The Blu-Ray features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. From the opening sequences we know that this lossless soundtrack will hold up nicely, and it does indeed. The music is clear and discrete, and numerous scenes feature a barrage of elements zooming throughout all five of the channels, but the dialog in the center channel is never anything but perfectly clear and understandable. This lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack should leave everyone very satisfied.
While it is not by any means loaded with extras, there are certainly a couple of nice bonus features included on the Blu-Ray. There is a featurette titled ‘The Making of Man of Tai Chi’ which is actually pretty fun and insightful, and it really gives you an idea just how much heart and true elements went into this film. It actually gave me even more respect for Reeves’ impressive directorial debut. Also included is a feature length audio commentary track with Keanu Reeves and Tiger Chen.
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘Man of Tai Chi’ is now available to own on Blu-Ray & DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment & Radius/TWC.