Tai ji 1: Cong ling kai shi

2012 [CHINESE]

Action / Adventure / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 4830

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 23, 2021 at 07:19 PM

Director

Cast

Daniel Wu as Mad Monk
Qi Shu as Mother Yang
Angelababy as Chen Yu Niang
720p.BLU
903.44 MB
1280*544
Chinese 2.0
PG-13
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by treble_head-772-640235 9 / 10

Fully Flawless Parody.

This is an exploration into the tropes of Gung Fu movies. Every single line, every move, is taking apart kung fu cinema. I have waited for a parody like this for years, and I mean all the way from Rudy Ray Moore's Shaolin Dolemite to Kung Pow: Enter the Fist. They all missed the point. This is a Tarantino film without Tarantino beating you to death with it. A movie for true kung fu fans only. It is barely accessible to outside audiences, which I think explains the negative reviews.

How does the master know how to do that? EXACTLY! Why does he gain skills for no reason? EXACTLY. It is dissecting the clichés and also telling a story.

Plus, Shu Qi is in it, and that's always a plus.

Reviewed by caseymoviemania 2 / 10

Casey's Movie Mania: TAI CHI ZERO (2012)

Touted as one of the most anticipated Chinese movie blockbusters of the year, actor-director Stephen Fung's TAI CHI ZERO is a revisionist take of a classic martial-art movie with a steampunk twist. On paper, the concept sounds interesting enough. Even the trailer itself makes me believe it's a go-for-broke, martial arts comedy in the vein of KUNG FU HUSTLE (2004). But for all the colorful effort that Fung tries hard to be different than your regular martial-art movie, TAI CHI ZERO is strangely uninvolving and poorly executed in many ways.

The story centers on a martial-art prodigy named Yang Luchan (Jayden Yuan) who is born with a fleshy abnormality where he has a "horn" sprouting from his forehead. Whenever someone punches his "horn", he turns himself into a mystical warrior that able to take down a score of enemies in a short period of time.

One day, when his master, Zhao Kanping (Fung Hak On), who is a leader of the Divine Truth forces, ends up being killed by Qing army. The Divine Truth army physician Dr. Dong (Leung Siu-Lung), who also badly injured by the attack, urges Luchan to head on to Chen Village to study Master Chen's (Tony Leung Ka-Fai) unique martial arts technique that promotes internal energy. Apparently Luchan's "horn" has already turned red and he will die soon enough if it turns black.

But upon arrival, Luchan finds his presence is unwelcome by the villagers of the Chen Village. He finds out that nobody will teaches an outsider of their Chen-style martial arts. Worse, Master Chen is nowhere to be found. He only manages to locate Chen's daughter, Yuniang (Angelababy), who runs a local medicine shop. She also makes it clear that she will not teaches Luchan at any circumstances, and urges him to give up instead. But the hard-headed Luchan keeps trying to find way to learn Chen-style martial arts at all cost.

Yuniang's boyfriend, Fang Zijing (Eddie Peng), who recently returns studying from Europe, tries to convince the villagers to allow a railroad through their land and to install electricity. Unfortunately his visual presentation goes terribly wrong and ends up being an object of ridicule by the villagers. Zijing is upset about this, and subsequently joins forces with East India Company representative Claire Heathrow (Mandy Lieu) to persuade the villagers by force.

Meanwhile, Luchan befriends with an old laborer (also Tony Leung Ka-Fai) and secretly copying Chen-style martial arts from the villagers he's encounter from.

Then one day, Zijing and Claire returns to Chen Village with foreign soldiers, along with a giant destruction machine called "Troy No. 1", to teach the villagers a hard lesson.

On the surface, the movie is exceptionally busy with lots of fancy visuals. From arcade game-like screen graphics that has exclamation marks of "K.O.!", "Round 1!" to video game pop-ups (labels on people and location), as well as manga-like animated section, the movie should have been a fun-filled entertainment. Unfortunately, Fung's direction is terribly haphazard and he doesn't have sense of pacing. Despite clocking at a compact 97 minutes, the movie feels unusually overlong (as if watching a 2-hour movie) because of numerous expository-heavy scenarios that could have been trimmed short.

Another huge problem here is Chen Kuo-Fu's overcrowded screenplay that tries too hard to be everything. For a movie that supposes to concentrate on Yang Luchan's quest to learn Chen-style martial arts, his story here is more like an afterthought.

All the actors here are mixed bag. As the main star of the movie, real-life martial arts champion Jayden Yuan is terribly dull and wooden as a performer. Eddie Peng is unconvincing to portray the kind of character who is vengeful and filled with lots of hatred. Angelababy, who is best known for acting in romantic comedies, does quite an okay job as a strong-willed martial artist. American-Malaysian Chinese model Mandy Lieu, is all porcelain beauty but her acting skill is plain terrible, as well as her wooden English dialogues. Of all, only Tony Leung Ka-Fai is credible as the old laborer and Master Chen.

Technical credits are overall adequate at best, while Sammo Hung's action choreography is surprisingly average. The martial arts scene, which combined wirework and slow-motion, are all empty style but little substance. It's especially a shame that Jayden Yuan is given little chance to strut his stuff here.

Overall, TAI CHI ZERO is a huge disappointment for a movie that tries to expand into a planned trilogy. What's more, the sequel, TAI CHI HERO will be released in a few weeks' time on Oct 25. Hopefully we can see some significant improvement by then.

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 10 / 10

A Nutshell Review: Tai Chi Zero

The first thing that'll jump out at you should you watch the trailer and promotional clips, is the steampunk influences in this martial arts film. But don't let that bother you too much because it's nothing but a large red herring, and something of a gimmick, that added a fun element to the typical story of a zero to hero, only that this Stephen Fung directed film comes in two parts, splitting it down the middle to focus on its protagonist's journey from a nobody to a somebody, surrounded by a village full of highly skilled exponents out to defend their livelihood.

The plot is pretty generic and derivative, but thankfully the film has its technical department to thank for, in dressing this up really beautifully, with the story focusing on its countless of different easter eggs to bring on the laughs, or the surprises, that keep on coming in fast and furious fashion. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and has many tongue in cheek moments clearly set to lull the viewer into what would be an anime inspired presentation gone life action, and it worked incredible wonders, even though it's half a story, with the promise of more to come in the sequel (which is already primed for release later this month) for this mixed-genre film.

It centers around Yang Lu Chan, played by newcomer Jayden Yuan, who himself is a former world champion in Wushu, likely to follow the footsteps of Jet Li if this film takes off at the box office, given that this is quite the showreel for the young martial artist turned action actor. His character is born with a small horn at his right temple, which is indicative that his is a life blessed with natural kung fu prowess if harnessed correctly, and destined for something great. But he ended up with the rebels fighting an ailing Qing dynasty, before having to flee to the fabled Chen Village, where he is to seek the village chief in order to be imparted a set of Tai-chi inspired martial arts, in order to control and expel the inner injuries he's sustained, threatening his life. And each time he uses his skills, the shorter his lifespan becomes, during this critical stage.

But things are never made easy for the protagonist of course, and he gets bullied by Master Chen's daughter Chen Yu Niang (Angelababy), and other skilled exponents all trained in the same arts, which has been decreed never to be taught to outsiders. Most of the film deals with Yang's persistence, at times comical, in wanting to pummel his way to the village and pick up the necessary skills, made easier through his innate ability to pick up skills through observation. The real adversary comes from the external and manifold. There's Eddie Peng as Fang Zijing, a western educated man who finds no love from the Chen Village where he comes from, and is the fiancé of Yu Niang, having put in a crossroads where he's heading a project for the government in building a railway cutting right through the Village. He's slimy, and he's a cad, and it'll be interesting to see how his character develops in the next film. Then there's the threat of the Qing forces combined with the British forces who now find it lucrative to come exploit the Middle Kingdom. And if that's not all, the final scene sees two strangers at the brink of infiltrating the village, primed to lead into the next film.

And let's not forget about the steampunk inspired designs of a huge railway builder, which is just the tip of the iceberg on the technical strengths that this film boasts, from visual effects, to sets, to martial arts designed none other than Sammo Hung himself. Angelababy had the stunt team to thank for looking believable as the village chief's highly skilled daughter, fighting with a degree of grace, while Tony Leung Ka Fai's role also had him work with the stunt wires to lift him up the pedestal of one of the movie's greatest combatants, and then some. The playful character introductions throughout the film is something of a highlight as well, as Stephen Fung managed to assemble a variety of legendary actors, directors, and martial arts exponents to pop up as cameo and supporting characters for a scene or two, such as Shu Qi, Andrew Lau, and even Bruce Leung, amongst others, so keep your eyes peeled.

Some may dislike Tai Chi Zero for being all over the place, but that is nothing but its primary appeal, and Stephen Fung has assembled a extremely unique piece of martial arts filmmaking, dabbling into the era of silent films for flashbacks, animation for the opening credits and then some, and with a general eye, and aggressive camera work to visually spice up the narrative with a playful look and feel from first person perspectives, to anime and comic book styled fonts that appear either to move the story along, or translate sound effects into a comical visual treat. I'm already all pumped up for the follow up film, since there were many sub story arcs left hanging in the balance, and am reserving my call whether this could possibly be a favourite amongst the year's selection.

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