Although Keanu Reeves character says towards the end "It's not about fighting", to reveal some new sub-text, the film surely is all about that. About choreography. Even the spaces in which the bodies collide (except for one example) are nothing more then closed of and cubes/areas. So no Keanu, this film is all about the fighting and the different styles that clash at one another. And it sure is a fantastic sight.
With his directorial debut, stoic action star Keanu Reeves has succeeded where filmmakers as formidable as Tsui Hark ("Black Mask 2") and Ringo Lam ("Undeclared War") have failed before: "Man of Tai Chi" is a coherent and entertaining fusion of the Eastern and Western entertainment industries. Nearly every action scene displays an evolution in Tiger Chen's character, making this a more thoughtful fight film as well.
Between this and Side By Side, it seems that Keanu Reeves is suddenly reincarnated as an incredibly interesting filmmaker. Certainly it's no small feat to successfully stitch together a production from Mainland Chinese, Hong Kongese and Hollywood backers and distributers. To then deliver a solid meat-and-potatoes martial arts flick with a side order of unsentimental philosophy is yet another great achievement.
I lost the respect I've had for Keanu after this. 47 Ronin, which I LET IT SLIDE As CATASTROPHIC FAILURE BUT NOT THIS. HE DOESN'T HAVE A SINGLE LANE MORE THAN ONE SENTENCE! NEO WHY U DO DIS?
Why did he choose to do this. Maybe he isn't what I think he is, a good actor, director or someone with fucking taste.
I used to defend his acting or personality but not anymore.
Moving for the troubled, uneasy way in which Reeves himself tries to come to grips with profound Eastern wisdom. He comes from Hollywood, from the West, so of course those holy words "You're nothing" are combative, crystallize in spite on his lips - but the insight is the same. His black-garbed killer is as identical to the white-robed master as he is contrary. Wants the same thing, and finds it. A work of healing.
The fight scenes are stunning, adept beyond my wildest expectations. Reeves and co. mix merciless Hyams-style wide shots with flurries of subjective shots - lots of interesting camera work. The score's great, too.
The best use of that haircut since No Country For Old Men. Also everything you hoped for from a 2010s Keanu Reeves-directed kung fu movie: a fable-like story (except for the neat wrap-up) with a martial arts setting. Holds up to Eastern cohorts of the genre.
Es original su premisa acerca del deshonor de usar la disciplina del Tai Chi para combatir, y las peleas están bien coreografiadas, pero la trama no tiene pizca de imaginación, y le falta la emoción y adrenalina de los buenos filmes de artes marciales.