Man of Tai Chi - Ice Block Quickie

Overly Reductive Plot Summary

Tiger studies Tai Chi so hard that Evil Keanu Reeves hires him to compete in an underground street-fighting circuit. Tiger fights hard and then harder but eventually learns that the true value of Tai Chi lies in filling out paper-work properly in an effort to preserve structures with historical significance.

Significant For...

This is Keanu Reeves' directorial debut. Beyond competent, this is likely the finest Hong Kong action film to be made with an American at the helm. In less that two hours, Reeves and his team undermine decades of action fans bemoaning Hollywood for 'just not getting it' when they try to do HK action.

The Entire Film In Three Images

man-of-tai-chi-THIS-ONE.jpg

Elements of the Film Ranked (On A Tai-Chi scale of 1 to 5)

  1. Not-so-subtle commentary on reality TV a bit shoe-horned in.
  2. Keanu is doing better work behind the camera than in front. In the midst of organising a pitch perfect Hong Kong action film, he also (over)acts as the cartoonishly evil villain.
  3. That said, it is an example of Keanu Reeves overacting, making it a rare article that will doubtless be studied for decades to come.
  4. The sweet sweet action combines raw physical skill and traditional wirework.
  5. Keanu bellows "fight" at the beginning of each match and "finish him" at the end because, at this point, why not?

Final Verdict

Keanu Reeves is henceforth forbidden from not directing. He... ahem... pulled no punches on the kick off to his directing career and hit a home run.