I didn't knew that keanu was directing and what a surprise. Not bad martial arts film. But that final fight was dissapointing probably because keanu wanted to fight or so. That slow motion thing killed the vibe comparing it with the rest of the movie.
Keanu Reeves does excellent work behind the camera in this solid martial-arts film. Though Reeves' acting is the weakest part, the fight scenes are amazing, Tiger Chen's performance is spot-on, and theme of the lust for power and control (with each fight getting darker & grittier) is communicated quite well.
A labour of love from an obvious student of martial arts films,Reeves does a more than adequate job of posting tribute to a genre, in fact its often quite stellar. Tiger Hu Chen is dynamic as the title character but as in films of this kind its the action choreography that makes it sing here courtesy of Yuen Woo-ping. The only quibble would be Reeves role here as villain which may have been better by casting a local
I was expecting this to be one of the worst films of 2013, but to my surprise it was far from that. In a year where not many Martial Art films (albeit memorable ones) were released, this stands up as one of the few good ones. A well-made, predictable tournament flick, Reeves is also in hilariously campy form here. Way better than the bland Special ID with Donnie Yen.
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.
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.
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.
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.