Man_of_Tai_Chi - Chinese Poster
By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Keanu Reeves
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Tiger Chen & Karen Mok
MPAA Rating: R (for violence)
Selig Rating: FULL PRICE
Runtime: 105 Min.
    Martial arts films came into the American lexicon thanks to actors like Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris.  The early films always had a lesson to be taught the hero by a strong master or sensei.  The Man of Tai Chi harkens back to those days.
    Set in Beijing, China, the story revolves around Chen Lin-Hu (Tiger Chen), a young martial artist who is gifted in Tai Chi.  Tai Chi is not known for being an aggressive style of the martial arts.  Tiger Chen is having trouble handling his aggression.
    That aggression catches the eye of of fight promoter, Donaka Mark (Keanu Reeves).  Mark is not a nice man.  Donaka is outright evil in the style seen in the early Bruce Lee films.  His character is updated to American (the bad guys those film were usually Japanese) with lots of modern surveillance gear.
    Using his martial arts to fight in the ring leads Tiger nearly to ruin before he awakens to his true path.  Along the way we see some good fights and one really excellent car crash.  All this culminates in the expected showdown between good (Tiger) and evil (Donaka Mark).
    I went to see this film because it marks Keanu Reeves directorial debut.  I stayed to watch it because it was good!  If you liked the old martial arts films made in China/Hong Kong, then this film is a FULL PRICE.  If you aren’t, it still hits MATINEE on the scale.
Movie Site:
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
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