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Monday, December 31, 2012

[5.75/10] Tai Chi Hero (2012)

Tai Chi Hero (2012)

Brief review: After the recently released martial arts caper, "Tai Chi Zero", here comes the second installment in the franchise, that promises even more silly fun and crazy fights. Sadly though, the director obviously didn't save the best for last, because compared to its totally refreshing predecessor, "Tai Chi Hero" is a bit of a let down. The story about the origin of Tai Chi fighting style is even more unfocused and less action-packed this time around, and full not-so-interesting back stories, that muddle the plot even more.Also, its clever tag line says 'from zero to hero', but unfortunately, it's more like 'from goofy fun to unnecessary seriousness', which automatically makes this sequel less enjoyable than the wacky "Tai Chi 0". Having said that, the film still has its moments of cheeky humor and slapstick comedy, as well as video game references such as pop-up 'vs.' titles and cartoon-like special effects, plus, it kind of redeems itself in the final act, thanks to the final 'stair rail' fight sequence between Yang Lu Chan and the protector, which is executed to sheer perfection, as well as super-exciting and fun to watch. That being said, this extraordinary action scene is not enough to save the film from being average at best. Angelababy is pretty to look at, and Yuan Xiaochao continues to impress as the protagonist, but it's Tony Leung Ka Fai as Master Chen that gives the most charismatic performance here.

Overall summary: Neither as quirky, nor as funny, nor as inventive as the original, Fung's "Tai Chi Hero" has one true highlight, namely the astonishing final fight scene, but apart from that, this so-so sequel barely delivers the big fun and non-stop action its predecessor did.

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