Man of Tai Chi
Director: Keanu Reeves
Although heavily westernized, Reeves’ directorial debut will hold some thrills and excitement for those who aren’t too picky about their martial arts epics.
Humble courier Tiger Chen has been on the road to become a master of Tai Chi, a martial art known more for defensive techniques and meditative slowness rather than brute force. He’s a skilled fighter, but when the temple he learns at is threatened with razing, Tiger enters into an unholy agreement with Donaka (Reeves), a security consultant running brutal underground fights on the side, sometimes to the death. Donaka tries to turn Tiger into an online celebrity and a killer, but can the innocent young man resist the temptation.
Despite some admittedly great fights (courtesy of master Yuen Woo-Ping), a likeable hero, and a perfectly hammy performance from Reeves in the villain role, there just isn’t an interesting enough story to fill in the gaps. Reeves has some chops as a director, but he could use a lesson or two about editing. There are some fun moments, but it’s all a bit pat, repetitive and anti-climactic. (Andrew Parker)