Tai Chi Master

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (145 votes, average: 3.95 out of 5)
Posted On: January 26, 2011
Posted In: Action Movies, All Movies, Jet Li Movies, Kung Fu Movie Reviews, Kung Fu Movies, Martial Arts Movies, Tai Chi
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Tai Chi Master is the greatest wire-fu film from director and choreographer Yuen Woo-ping, best known as the martial-arts choreographer of the Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Kill Bill films. Wire-fu films were became popular during the martial arts film resurgence of the late 80s and early 90s, and in terms of fight choreography, this is arguably the best of the entire sub-genre. Tai Chi Master demonstrated Jet Li’s martial-arts abilities at their most frenetic and fluid, and he was at the peak of his athletic prowess. It also features one of action queen Michelle Yeoh’s finest performances in a Wuxia period piece.

Li and Yeoh are supported by an equally athletic cast, led by the remarkable Chin Siu-hou, who plays the villan to Li’s hero. Chin steals every scene, even when he is being beaten to a bloody pulp. Li and Chin play best friends Jun and Tien, who grow up in Shaolin Buddhist Temple during the Manchu Dynasty.

The film pays homage to the 70s Shaw Brothers films, and the closing scene in the temple is only the first of a series of amazing martial arts set pieces. Jun and Tien’s dispositions lead them to two different paths in life; Jun joins the rebellion against the cruel Manchu regime, while Tien joins the army.

When Li fires up his other worldly Tai Chi skills, the results are some of the best boxing scenes the “wire-fu” genre has ever witnessed. Tai Chi Master established Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh as the best martial arts actors in the business, and Yuen the best choreographer. This film is worth your time. Enjoy! Thomas DiSanto