105 Min | Action – Drama | July 2013
IMDB Rating: 6.1
Director: Keanu Reeves
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Iko Uwais, Tiger Hu Chen
Man of Tai Chi Review: Man of Tai Chi may not be one of the best martial arts movie made, but its a good first attempt at directing by one of my more favored actor and an all-around good human being, Keannu Reeves. Though the acting might slightly be bland for the most part (all right then, all through out except for Karen Mok), but then again you have to admit though it’s not exactly Shakespeare we’re watching here. Its a pound for pound martial arts movie for action flick aficionados, too much acting or show of emotions would’ve made it too soft for me or pretentious. Man of Tai might as well be Mr. Reeves’ love letter to Chinese cinema which apparently influenced him a lot. I’m quite impressed as well that Mr. Reeves has set his hollywood superstar status aside to make way for the little guy behind all the fancy stunts and high kicks that makes all those hollywood action movies enjoyable.
Tiger Chen (who plays Tiger Chen) is a bit more problematic. He’s a good actor, but he seems to be playing a part that was written for a younger man. Most of the time, it works, but his age and his stature work against him. He has nowhere near the charisma of a Bruce Lee, but, then, who does? As a stuntman, he’s mastered the martial arts, and one sees that he’s up to all the heavy-lifting in the action department. The only other character who makes an impression is Karen Mok, who plays a police officer intent on bringing Donaka Mark to justice. Most of the other actors manage to grunt on cue and look menacing, although up-and-comer Iko Uwais stands out, in what amounts to a walk-on, as a comely combatant.
Kudos to Tiger Chen for the amazing action sequences in Man of Tai as well in the other movies he had been in as stunt coordinator and the like. Mr. Chen, is the real thing here. Its entertaining for the most part. Its a joyride and a spectacle to savor from beginning to end. Again, congratulations Mr. Anderson, the Matrix will be proud.