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As an uncommonly gifted child, Yang Luchanhas a fleshy abnormality that holds tremendous power growing on his forehead. However, being teased as the town fool, Yang’s mother spurs him to practice martial arts. Following her wishes, Yang travels across the land, finally arriving at Chen Village in hopes of learning Tai Chi.
In this legendary community and center of power, everyone practices Tai Chi - using it in every aspect of their lives. However, it is forbidden for the villagers to share these secrets with an outsider. Yang learns this the hard way. Once he arrives, everyone challenges him to fights. From the strongest men to the women and children, he is engaged - and cruelly defeated by their masterful moves. After a particularly tough battle against Master Chen’s beautiful daughter Yuniang, Yang is more determined than ever to master the art of Tai Chi...but he needs the Master's permission first.
Little does Yang know, the poor strange man he befriended when he arrived at Chen Village is Master Chen - who recognizes Yang’s genius but hides behind a disguise to secretly guide Yang to his own realization of Tai Chi.
Soon after, a frightening steam-powered machine arrives at Chen Village, powered by Fang Zijing, a childhood friend of Yuniang. Fang has bribed and conspired with government officials to permit him to build a railway - one that runs right through the center of the village. Yang decides to join forces with Yuniang to defeat Fang and destroy the monstrous machine - a brave and dangerous act that might just win the hearts of the villagers...and the girl.
There's not much I can add story wise here without ruining the the film for those waiting to see it so the above synopsis is plenty to go off of before watching the film. "Tai Chi Zero" is the first part in a planned trilogy so it ends as such with no real ending or solutions to the events that are in progress. The film has gotten a lot of hype so I was pretty interested in checking it out plus the fact that it was a joint effort from Director, Stephen Fung and Writer Kuo-fu Chen who is responsible of the amazing "Detective Dee." And to top it all off the great Sammo Hung is on board as Action Director which is about all you need to know if you were wondering about the fight scenes.
"Tai Chi Zero" is full of old school and modern elements, the fight scenes are the traditional wire work we are all use to seeing but the the film uses a non-traditional soundtrack and Anime style graphics to aid the story. I have seen others say that the film might not be for everyone but that could be said for many films, if you're a fan of martial arts then I think you are going to enjoy the film as much as I did. There is plenty of comedy, drama and action to please any fan and the story also contains a few messages as well.
The film is quite entertaining but it does leave you with that empty feeling and it has you wanting more, lets hope the remaining parts get released here in the U.S. before too long. The entire cast did a fantastic job in the film, no one acting stood out because everyone shined. Available on DVD and Blu-ray, both come with Special Features that include:
Original Language: Mandarin
Dubbed Language: English
Subtitle: English, Mandarin
Extra: Behind the Scenes, Music Videos, Trailers
One thing I must mention that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else as of yet is that the English Subtitles that come on the Blu-ray and I suppose the DVD as well work for the Mandarin version just fine but there are no forced subtitles for the English audio track and they are needed so if you want to watch the film in English you are going to have to sit and watch the film with the subtitles for the entire film. This is certainly disappointing since the rest of the Blu-ray and it's features are fantastic and it's too bad this wasn't caught in time to fix the problem. I am in no way saying not to pick this up because this is still worth seeing but the whole subtitle mistake is inconvenient if you plan to watch the dubbed version which I am sure many out there are. That being said I cannot wait to see the remaining parts of the trilogy because I really enjoyed this first part.
Released by Well Go USA
**** Out Of *****