2012 Written by Chang Chia-Lu and Cheng Hsiao-Tse
Directed by Stephen Fung Tak-Lun
How do I pee in this thing???
While Tai Chi Zero spent most of it’s running time setting up an Eastern tradition vs. Western modernism dichotomy that clashed with the very editing processes used to makeTai Chi Zero visually entertaining if nothing more than fluff, Tai Chi Hero tries a different tact. A method of uniting the different aspects of not only the film series, but of the culture clashes and personal clashes. The film is all about reconciliation, reunion, and combining into a greater whole. A balanced whole between the yin and yang, which is a part of the philosophy of tai chi.
Suddenly the movie goes all Forrest Gump!
There are still lots of plot lines to resolve, since the last film didn’t bother to finish anything up. And don’t expect everything to get resolved this time, either, though at least most of the problems are solved. At the last minute. Tai Chi Hero‘s attempts to have more of a story feels better, but conflicts with the flashy editing and choreography that was the only charm of the first part. So while being a better film on the whole, Tai Chi Hero manages to disappoint in the area that gained it fame, while not making enough up in the other aspects. Instead of the parts balancing together into a better whole, instead we just a big confusing mess, which defeats the whole message of the film! This is where Homer Simpson would say “D’oh!”
If you see one Tai Chi -ero movie, make it Hero, but seriously consider grabbing something else. Make it a balanced viewing where you also watch a decent film.
Rah rah, ah ah ahh
Roma, Roma ma ah
GaGa, Ou lala
Yang Lu Chan/The Freak (Jayden Yuan Xiao-Chao) – The hero from our last film is marrying into the Chen clan so all his tendon’s aren’t ripped out. And also to learn the kung fu he needs to survive. And to help save his home. And also because he loves Chen Yu Niang.
Chen Yu Niang (AngelaBaby) – Daughter of Master Chen Chang Xing, marries Yang Lu Chan despite not loving him nor wanting to be tied down with the responsibility, but Yang Lu Chan will prove himself over time. Helps him achieve balance.
Chen Chang Xing (Tony Leung Ka-Fai) – Master of the Chen clan and Chen Village. His strictness has caused family problems which are brought up again during a plot against Chen Village. Manages to play roles of both the wise elder and the antagonist of one of the minor heroes, before achieving redemption and thus, balance.
Chen Zai Yang (William Fung Shiu-Fung) – Oldest son of Chen Chang Xing, who was run out of town do to his preference of technology over martial arts. He returned in a complicated plot and eventually tries to redeem himself. His wife Jin Yun Er is a capable woman and partner despite being mute.
Fang Zi Jing (Eddie Peng Yu-Yan) – The villain returns with a complicated plot of revenge against Chen village involving working and bribing his way to getting an East India Company funded army to blow the crap out of the town. Which he does, and probably killed dozens of people, so I guess he sort of gets revenge even though he’s stopped.
Maggie Q as Charlene Ching
Anya Wu as Katherine
Almen Wong Pui-Ha as Madam M
Daniel Wu as Jack Chen
As a big fan of Naked Killer and similar fare, I was initially thrilled when it was announced that they would be remaking it, and that Wong Jing would be involved. Then it was announced it would instead be a “Naked Killer“-type movie, and I began to get a little worried. This formula is hard to do wrong, though, and Jing has been doing it for decades. OR so I thought. Instead, what could have easily been a great movie instead became a shining example of everything WRONG with Hong Kong cinema these days and explains why they are being surpassed by Korea and other places. Some of the many many problems will be addressed when they come up and others at the end.