A worthy follow up, I can't wait to see the final chapter of the trilogy.
**** out of 5
Well Go USA
Article first published as Movie Review: Tai Chi Hero on Blogcritics.
When I popped in my review disc for Muay Thai Warrior, I came across a trailer for Tai Chi Zero. Looking like a mix of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Kung Fu Hustle infused with steampunk, I was pretty excited that the Blu-ray was sitting on my shelf, just waiting to be watched. Director Stephen Fung delivered exactly that. With some friends joining me, we noticed that a slew of objects seemed to be flying at the screen, so it was no surprise to see a 3D section during the end credits. Not knowing the film was part of a trilogy, we were pretty let down to not see the film reach a true climax. I learned online that it was indeed part of a trilogy and that they were all originally in 3D, and the first two are available for purchase on Blu-ray from overseas. So when the opportunity to review Tai Chi Hero finally came to be, I just had to see what came next.
I first ran across the deliciously loopy work of director Fung through Netflix with his House of Fury. Continuing with his own brand of goofy fun, Tai Chi Hero lets the slapstick fly while mixing in the dramatic elements but leaving room for some hilarious spoof moments. The kung fu doesn’t fly as well as in Zero, even with both being choreographed by the legendary Sammo Hung. Seeing how Zero and Hero were filmed together, perhaps for the final installment Fung can bring in some fresh blood. I know Yuen Woo-ping is still available, and I can only imagine what a grand finale that could make bringing him into the mix.
Angelababy is as easy on the eyes as she is capable at Tai Chi, and Xiaochao continues to provide Lu Chan the necessary naïvette while essentially becoming a superhero. Stormare chews the scenery as much here as he has lately in things like The Last Stand and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, but the real star here is Fung and his writers. No sight gag is too silly or joke too broad, but it’s all played with a straight face making sure the laughs are as hard as the punches making Tai Chi Hero a worthy follow up, and I can’t wait to see how the trilogy ends — and hopefully, finally in 3D.
Photo courtesy Well Go USA