Opening in theatres today from director Stephen Fung and Well Go USA Entertainment comes the next installment of a man who goes from zero to TAI CHI HERO.
This film tells the story of Yang Luchan (Jayden Yuan), a boy-man who has a pointed fleshy growth on his forehead. Why it is there is the story of legend. When it is pushed in, Luchan becomes a warrior that can take on an army – which he has done!
Now, Luchan is still in the Chen Village and is the first outsider to learn the ancient form of Tai Chi. After ridding the village of a railroad monster, the signs of the machinery is still outside the village for all to see. But things have changed a little as Luchan is to marry Yuniang (Angelababy).
As with most weddings there is an unexpected visitor as Zaiyang (Feng Shaofeng), Yuiang’s brother appears like the prodigal’s son! Zaiyang isn’t too happy that his sister is marrying a foreigner, especially one who has learned their secret Tai Chi.
If that isn’t enough, Fang Zijing (Eddie Peng) is still up to not good but this time with Duke Fleming (Peter Stormare) of the East India Company. Both of these evildoers wants the Chen village destroyed and by making Zijing deputy governor, the Duke hopes to finish the railroad!
FINAL WORD: Yuan once again portrays the very shy and sometimes awkward Luchan. From the beginning the story shows how desperately he wants to be accepted by the village and Yuniang. As in TAI CHI ZERO, Luchan needs to accept himself if he is to be accepted by others. Yuan conveys the necessary emotions to get the audience to root for the underdog.
Angelababy as the suspicious wife Yuniang is, from the beginning, playing hard to get – no, really – hard to get! Making Luchan work hard for every moment of her attention Angelababy has no probably wielding a sword so much so that she finally realizes helping Luchan is also helping her village.
Shaofeng as brother Zaiyang has daddy issues from the get go. Taking out his own frustrations on Luchan, he takes the long way around to do what’s right. Shaofeng portrays this with ease.
Peng as Zijing is a bad guy who may want to do bad things but doesn’t seem to have enough oomph in his follow through. I give Peng points for taking it on once again trying to get back at the Chen village but this time he has a little help from Stormare as the Duke.
There is something about Stormare that just wreaks dastardly deeds and evil. Its actually kind cool that he can do that! Here he is the bad voice in Peng’s ear keeping his own hands clean.
Other cast include: Qi Shu as Mother Yang, Tony Leung Ka Fai as Master Chen Chang Xing, Yuen Biao as Li Qiankun, Yin Tse as the 10th Grandmaster, Di Wu as Chen You Zhi, jade Zu as Sister Mahjong, Daniel Wu as the Mad Monk and Stephen Fung as Nan.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give TAI CHI HERO three tubs of popcorn. There is another film to make this storyline a trilogy but it’s hard to see where the story can possibly go. That being said the film has its fun moments, its humor and some fantastic martial arts action.
The cinematography is excellent and the martial arts is flowing and very cool. There are so many possibilities for the final film that I hope the director, Stephen Fung, can end it all with the epicness this storyline deserves.
In the end – he can go from zero to hero!
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