The martial arts genre seems to deliver the widest variety of subject matter and for some reason all work when done right, even more so when done in the period epic style that is a mainstay in the Asian film market. Their latest Tai Chi Zero brings together yet another subject you wouldn’t expect mixing steampunk and Kung-Fu together in hopes to deliver something all new? Add to the mix martial arts icon Sammo Hung taking on duties of martial arts coordinator, could we be in for something special or will it loose steam fast?
Tai Chi Zero follows a young man known as “The Freak” who has a strange growth on his head that when hit gives him unbelievable power. Leaving behind all he knows he heads to the Chen Village in hopes to learn “internal kung-fu” but is thrust head on into a battle against a battalion of Steamwork soldiers. This is easily one of the most unique martial arts films to come along in some time. The performances are all great filled with a who’s who in the martial arts world. While the Steampunk aspect adds a new element, it’s the unique take on the films execution that makes it something different. Throughout the film when a character is introduced it told who they were in both the film and who is playing them and their status in the martial arts world. At other times the film plays like a live action video game delivering some elements similar to films like Scott Pilgrim VS. The World. This film plays as a serious martial arts action adventure film, but also throws in numerous comical aspects to keep the movie moving and entertaining. The martial arts sequences are beautifully crafted and executed delivering all the excitement you expect form a great martial arts film. If there is any issue here it really only comes with the subtitles as they move really quick so you have to read fast and keep up or you will miss something.
This is a great addition to the martial arts genre on every level, but is a film that will be more of an acquired taste due to the unique filmmaking. Filled with beautiful set pieces, brilliantly crafted martial arts sequences and a unique story make Tai Chi Zero one of the better martial arts films to come along in some time. Have no fear this film is only the beginning as a second film filmed at the same time titled Tai Chi Hero will be released to continue this epically insane fun story. In addition to this great martial arts epic, the Blu-ray sports a beautiful high-def transfer with a behind the Zenes featurette, as well as muZic VideoZ, and trailerZ.