Thursday, May 2, 2013

Film Review: Tai Chi Zero (2012)

Tai Chi Zero (Review)
China/2012
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

Yang Luchan travels to Chen Village to learn Chen martial arts; if he fails, he will eventually die. The village, however, doesn't teach outsiders, so he has to prove himself. When a metal monster threatens the village, Luchan jumps on the opportunity and fights to save the villagers.

Tai Chi Zero is a simple story. Luchan, born with great powers and promise, must learn Chen martial arts in order to survive. The villagers are hesitant, so he must become a hero to convince them. Its a mixture of over-the-top martial arts and comedy, with witty "comic book" style editing. The fighting is superb, especially the final battle sequence; the fighting consists of incredible punches, kicks, and pushes that usually launch the receiver in slow-motion. However, these superb sequences are far and few between. Also, I found the witty editing to be funnier than most of the comedy in the film; the dialogue and action attempts at comedy just feel very cliché.

The acting was good - not spectacular, but not bad, either. The music felt out of place; I suppose it matches the bizarre, over-the-top style of the film and editing, but I simply didn't enjoy most of it. The visuals are great and vivid; you can tell the film was meant for 3d, even if you're watching the 2d version. The choreography was also fantastic, which creates exciting fight scenes as it blends a slow-motion effect most of the time.

Overall, Tai Chi Zero is a solid martial arts action film. The action sequences, although limited, are superb and often breathtaking; these are complimented by the great visual effects and use of slow-motion. However, the story is cliché, the comedy mostly falls flat, and the music breaks immersion. Recommended for fans of the genre.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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