Man of Tai Chi (2013) :: Reviews

ErinI'm amazed (2018-01-08 05:47:47)

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As for the movie, I really enjoyed the temptation motif and that it had this philosophy behind the storyline. But what really struck me was Keanu Reeves as Donaka Mark. For me, this is Keanu's most believable character of a villain so far (chronologically speaking). Maybe it is due to him being a director of the film, so he knew what he wanted from the very beginning, I don't know, but here he truly convinced me he WAS the bad guy. Perfect!
silverKeanu's first Directorial Project My first Review (2017-03-05 02:55:23)

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Like the subject line says.

So, "Man of Tai Chi" is a movie that I am happy to review. I love Martial Arts, and Martial Art films, so this is a treat for me. The fact that this movie puts a spotlight on Tai Chi, a Martial Art that is considered "Soft Style", and makes it the star tool for fighting, is something I would have never thought of. Perhaps I would have guessed that the main character uses Tai Chi in addition to some other "Hard Style" Martial Art, and the combination makes him different than the other fighters, but the way it turned out was pretty cool.

This movie contains elements of temptation, power, and their seductive nature. It presents the well known concept of, "good intentions can lead to bad things". One can tell that Keanu was (at least) inspired by Kung Fu movies of old, which is a good thing. You see this particularly in the last fight between Keanu and Chen. Chen kills it as the star.

Chen went from a naivete that endeared him to the audience, and into a power lust that did not alienate the audience. I found myself caring about what darkness the character was heading into.

Keanu got to play almost a human personification, or perhaps conduit, for dark temptation to reach Chen. I saw that he (In my opinion) really played up this antagonist, in yet another nod to old school Kung Fu movies. He tells you what he is about almost as soon as you see the character.

What I disliked about this movie was the use of camera technology. While I understand that there would be some recording tools present, because we live in that time, I think there were too many. It made it hard to believe that this technology wouldn't be able to be exploited by law authorities more quickly than when it actually happened in the movie. Also, I thought some of the scenes perhaps went too long, the fight with the twins in what looked to be a club of some sort, is an example. However, I may be wrong (and may have a short attention span lol)

All in all, I think this was a pretty good directorial debut from Keanu. I can't wait to see what he directs next.

JinxMOTC (2016-01-18 17:48:25)

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I love it because it brings style to the kungfu movie, like the old school one I used to watch where you have crane style or drunken style, grashopper style. Not a generic kung fu style. Even though it is partly western production, with western writer, western director, western cinematopgrapher but it shows respect to Kungfu movie genre. It is a very well thought movie and straight forward i think. It's called Man of Taichi and the taichi theme appear throughout the movie. The black evil donaka vs the white good master, the yin and the yang, hard and soft. Donaka who is the evil lord but eerily soft spoken and the master who is tough and disciplined. And then there's Chen Hu in between having to find the balance... Very cool movie, awesome job..
LucaMMOTC, explained (2013-10-22 03:14:44)

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"… the devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for …"

That's it. That's the movie. And it's beautiful.
... and I've fallen in love with the serpent :|

ARYAVOD RELEASE (2013-09-29 01:22:08)

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I just got done watching MOTC so I am a little too thrilled with it right now.
This VOD version that I viewed on IPad is so damn much fun in all its crispness! With the ear plugs I could hear every sound. And it is satisfying the way it all comes together each step of the way. The ending is perfect in its celebration of real life with the study of the white sky of Beijing. Very much the professional film. At no point was I not engrossed in the story. Not one moment was there any drag. The escalation of each fight was seamless. Tiger is so kinetically beautiful and his close ups are pure and beautiful too! I tried not to read many of the reviews but from what I remember every single negative criticism was so totally biased of perception and wrong :)
Donaka was terrifyingly evil and spot on in every one of his lines/scenes. The camp aspect was not what was leaping out at me but there were some OTT moments. I may have heard someone say that this was very much Reeves story with Tiger playing the Reeves role that is transference from his real life to this martial arts kung fu tale...and this I tend to believe. Anyone who knows the story of Dr Faustus would seen the similarities.
Still not sure why MOTC did not do better box office in China. I believe the fans there may have typecast Keanu as Neo and not ready for this character. Maybe?
For me 5 out of 5 stars. This movie will be great in slow motion! There had better be extras on the dvd or I will cry for days...
ARYAI am just grateful to (2013-07-11 00:35:54)

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see a movie with so much eastern philosophical content. They mention meditation many times. Even Donaka has a meditation area and I notice he does not sit on a cushion... I see no fault with this movie. It does and says all the right things within the context of genre and fight scenes that are brutal but brutal in a non 'Fight Club' kind of way. Careful use of blood to highlight a moment not drown it in gore. A strong female role in the police detective. Not a talky film. The action is speaking for itself. I did not feel any problem or distraction with the subtitles. I will believe it is visually beautiful when I see it on the big screen and not this computer monitor with this sad pirate copy. Very Asian but cooler for the American audience. Let me be clear, how can this action kung fu movie exist without gratuitous blood gore or OTT violence and melodrama? Therein lies unique. It is Keanu vision from beginning to end. Recognize it or don't. Your choice. Truly looking forward to the dvd for extra's. Blu-ray please.