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Man of Tai Chi Blu-ray Review

Man Of Tai Chi Blu-ray

“Man of Tai Chi” is a tiresome martial arts film.

If you’ve seen “Mortal Kombat,” “Enter The Dragon,” or any number of tournament fighting martial arts films, you’ve already seen “Man of Tai Chi” essentially. There isn’t an ounce of originality to this story about a talented martial artist (Tiger Chen) who reluctantly competes in a high stakes illegal underground fighting tournament (run by a mysterious and wealthy man named Donaka) in order to renovate his Master’s Temple. Obviously, there’s a bit more to the story than that (including a subplot about a cop trying to find Donaka), but that’s the basic plot in a nutshell.

While Michael G. Cooney’s screenplay has some interesting ideas and themes about corruption, spirituality, violence, honor, and even reality series (you’ll see), they’re wasted in a rather routine story that offers little in the way of surprise or suspsense. Sure, the on screen action is intense, but it becomes so overdone and repetitive that you lose interest. It’s a real shame because Keanu Reeves (who directs here) does a fine job behind the camera. With help from cinematographer Elliot Davis and multiple action choreographers and editors, Reeves manages to make the action exciting and fresh. There’s no quick cut blur-o-vision style action that we so often see these days. Everything here is expertly shot.  

In front of the camera, Reeves doesn’t fare as well as the film’s villain. He’s as robotic as ever as Donaka and his climactic fight is nothing short of clumsy. Thankfully, star Tiger Hu Chen (who plays the character Tiger Chen) manages to capture viewer’s interest as the main character of the film. Between his fight scenes and his character’s story arc, Tiger Hu Chen is far and away the highlight of this forgettable action vehicle.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? ‘Man’ is a visually impressive film that boasts some striking cinematography and fight choreography.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA in English/Cantonese/Mandarin (with English subtitles). How does it sound? Nice and loud! I can’t complain about this track at all.

Extras:
* Anchor Bay and The Weinstein Company trailers.
* “The Making Of Man Of Tai Chi” contains film clips, interviews with Keanu Reeves and Tiger Hu Chen, discussions about the film and Tiger Chen, rehearsal footage, set footage, etc. The story behind the film is more interesting than the film itself.
* A so-so commentary by Keanu Reeves and Tiger Hu Chen. It’s informative, but nothing special.

December 28, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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