TIFF 2013: MAN OF TAI CHI Review


The first shot of Keanu Reeves’ martial-arts film Man of Tai Chi is of two guys punching each other, so it’s off to a good start.  Reeves’ directorial debut isn’t an homage or reinvention of the genre.  It sticks fairly close to the essentials, which are fighting followed by more fighting.  The threadbare plot is serviceable enough, but the main event is the fights, and they’re impressive.  With his first feature, Reeves shows he has the directing chops to pull off some exciting fisticuffs.  However, the movie raises the question of whether or not he’s aware that the plot incriminates the audience, and the audience may also wonder if Reeves’ performance is intentionally campy or playing into negative perceptions of the famous actor.




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