fantastic cinematography, fantastic job by Keanu (by citizenyes)
I saw this film and was blown away by it as a total package. As a first time director, Keanu was very sure of himself, stylistically. he didn't try to bite off too much story wise, allowing him to keep a very tight narrative; no wasted drama or superfluous frames. many more experienced directors, that everyone considers "great" can't do that. most movies ramble and unconsciously divert and subvert their story lines, and ultimately what they want to say. i think this movie can stand several viewings because it operates on many levels, between drama and action, overlaid with a <more>
layer Taoism/Buddhism, which i think he found necessary to use as a reference to measure the state of modern reality. another way to look at this is that the whole film is a metaphor for the struggles in modern china: the old vs the new, and when they clash, the conditions that are created have to be dealt with or there can can be enormous consequences. i can tell that he put a lot of thought into the content and the style that complements it. i don't know the relationship that he has with his cinematographer, Elliot Davis, but it must be a very complementary and conscious one. they turned out, not only a meaningful film in a genre that most people write off as pure entertainment but a total package. make no mistake about it, the fight sequences are astonishing, too, some of which i think are unique in Kung Fu annals. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT
It's a kung-fu movie. If approached in that manner the movie is awesome experience, the only thing i could maybe be a critic of is directing and placement of Keanu and the role he played was a bit stiff but all in all its a 10/10 for kung-fu old school title very glad they are still made.Considering that Keanu him self is a kung-fu nut it was expected to see him doing something like this.I applaud you sir, and support. MA fan myself If you would look at it as a movie in whole, its not good, don't even go there why it's not just not designed to be a "good" movie.
How is it possible (by JuiceZee)
that a martial arts movie is not full of melodrama gratuitous violence and/or an unbelievable plot? I had no problem following the storyline even with 2 out of 3 languages I know nothing about Mandarin & Cantonese . Due to the careful use of dialog I could easily read the subtitles of this tale of a sweet and gifted martial artist Tiger Chen who gets sucked into the dark side to financially help his family and his temple. The plot has some interesting twists and a good deal of eastern philosophy about managing chi and the necessity of meditation and use or abuse of power. I recognized <more>
the wealthy people as decadent and callus. The female police officer, Karen Mok following her instinct to hunt down a killer, was depicted as strong and capable. Qing Ye is the love interest and she has a great line that will make women everywhere smile. I have heard that Reeves allowed no stunt double for Tiger Chen and that adds to the believability. There were some very Matrix like moments. The showy part of the movie is in the fight scenes and there are a lot of them. Martial artists in all their male physicality with a limited amount of blood and gore. The careful use of blood highlights the storyline and does not drown it out especially the final fight that is pretty damn cool with Keanu Reeves as the baddest of the bad guys ever. It is surprising to see him so evil! I will be seeing this movie again. Hoping for a blu-ray DVD with lots of extras. PLEASE. Don't even tell me about any limited release in the US. This movie might attract more than just the usual Kung Fu fans.
I think I just found myself a new favorite director (by taifunu)
It wasn't exactly a surprise, though. To paraphrase a character from the movie, I knew he had it in him. But knowing and actually seeing are two different things. The movie has an old school feel to it - and yet not. It builds slowly, maybe too slowly for most people's taste. Slowly, subtly, steadily; like the bass line of a Foo Fighters song. Like a lazy snake that uncoils in the sun. Like Chi in meditation. It picks up its pace only after 40 minutes or so. But until then, the audience is given plenty of details, hints and reference to work with - if so inclined. And when things do <more>
start happening, it's beautiful to watch. Yes, it does have a few stiff and/or formulaic moments but given the genre and it being a directorial debut, this was inevitable ; Also, in spite of the genre and the references/homages to other movies,Reeves' directing style is original.He might have been inspired by the masters, but he doesn't borrow from any of them. Like Tiger, Reeves created his own style: ironic,realistic, minimalist, sharp, punctual, complex,subtle, multi-layered. Although being promoted as a 'kung-fu movie', Man of Tai Chi is much more than that. It's a meditation on many aspects and trappings of today's life. But none of them are spelled out in neon letters; it's up to the audience to recognize them. All in all, it's like... a Chinese menu: there's something in it for everyone, but some of the dishes are not everyone's favorites... If there's one thing the movie fan in me wanted more of, it's real interaction between Reeves' and Karen Mok's characters. I would have wanted to see the sparks fly ; But the more I think about it, the more I realize that by not including that element, the team made the right artistic decision which served the story, not the sheer entertainment factor. And that's a bold thing to do. Well done, Mr.Reeves. very well done. Looking forward to the next one :
i saw bad and good reviews... i'm going to tell you my opinion about this movie.Tai Chi is not well knowned for its movies... i mean... who has seen another tai chi movie with a well known actor like keanu reeves.The battles were great, it shows what tai chi can do about relaxation and when you are in danger.in addition with other raw movies like undisputed etc. this one shows that what you do, can make good to yourself and to your people who are close to you : Gave 9/10 cause i like tai chi and the way it transfered to me some things i didn't know about it :
Movie fine work. Also moves are great. (by qgun1)
...i just list this for clarity:Even sometimes Undisturbingly Formulaish, the deeper side stands out, and Moves are well done, many times amazing. Da matrix arts are well enough mixed with martial arts and deeper spirits ^.^ Kunfu viewers and ModernAction viewers both get delivered. i don't remember any scene that i felt like waiting , waiting the next one. The happenings have nice surroundings and feelings. Fine work this movie is. Im going to play some Mortal Kombat now ^.^ see YOU! _ ___________________________________________________// ignore the next lines : ^^ oh crap IMDb <more>
wants 10 lines of trash to accept review -How about 6 lines of BUSINESS Wtf , en Liirum Laarum Litium Piipadum Zipa Da bum bum . HAKUNA MATAATAAAA!!well is it enough lines now ? I SAID GOOD DAY SIR!
Man of Tai Chi. I must say, this movie portrays everything Tai Chi teaches us about ourselves, our inner demons, and how easy it is to loose yourself once you achieve Power. How Control is even more important then simply having great power. After Watching it I must admit, IMDb's review by davidvdb2 Belgium Signifies that Movie Critics do not know jack when it comes to the Spirit of Martial Arts and its Many uses. I urge you to see this movie, its not the greatest; But it has a valuable lesson that we must all learn while walking upon our own path to becoming a better Person, not just in <more>
Body, but in Spirit. Yin & Yang. Inner & Outer Form. Keanu Reeves Did his Homework and thus deserves an A+!
Excellent directorial début by Reeves (by sean-cowan1)
I liked what I saw in the trailer, but was still not sure what Keanu Reeves would do as a director. I have heard from him in many interviews how he is a 'kung-fu film nut' but you can never be sure if actors are serious in interview or not. Once you see this movie, you can tell just how much of a kung-fu film nut he actually is. He used the camera very well in every single fight scene, none of the shaky-cam stuff we see in most action and kung-fu movies today - where the speed of the camera makes the pacing of the fight. On the contrary in Man of Tai Chi Reeves keeps the camera <more>
stationary, or only slowly panning in the fight scenes, he also used a lot fewer quick-camera cuts. Essentially he allowed the impressiveness of the moves and styles themselves to shine through. If you choreograph the fights well enough the camera does not need to be moving fast, in fact it could sit in one place and not move at all and the fight is still impressive. He still need to work a bit on his dramatic direction but he has fight scenes down pat. If he somehow reads this, or someone who knows him does - don't change a thing with your fight direction.
Slow burning but satisfying first try (by alde_benjie)
Man of Tai Chi may not be one of the best martial arts movie made, but i would say, 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 who i adore , 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. I think <more>
this movie 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. Kudos to Tiger Chen for the amazing action sequences in this film as well in the other movies he had been in as stunt coordinator and the like. Mr. Chen, is the real thing here. And in conclusion, i would like to say that i know that not all may come to appreciate this movie, only a few will, but i say its an acquired taste. Its entertaining for the most part. I'm glad its not deep which is what i like in an action flick, because i don't want to work that hard when i'm already too exhausted just following the punches thrown in this film. But its a joyride and a spectacle to savor from beginning to end. Again, congratulations Mr. Anderson... the Matrix will be proud.