Movie Details

Taichi Hero

Stephen Fung directs this Chinese steampunk martial arts blockbuster about the early years of Tai chi master Yang Luchan, the man who founded in the 19th century what has now become the most popular Tai Chi style in the world. The second instalment of the "Tai Chi" trilogy continues the journey of Yang Luchan, a gifted child with a fleshy growth on his forehead who helped save a village from a frightening army of steampunk soldiers bearing strange machines with the knowledge of Tai Chi that they entrusted him with.

Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: English / Chinese
Classification: PG
Release Date: 25 Oct 2012
Genre: Action / Adventure / Drama / Martial Arts
Running Time: 1 Hour 43 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
Cast: Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Yuan Xiaochao, Angelababy, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Eddie Peng, Feng Shaofeng, Shu Qi, Daniel Wu
Director: Stephen Fung
Format: 35MM, 2D, IMAX 3D

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Review
Writer: Peter Chai

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Watch this if you liked: “Ip Man” and “Tai Chi O”

Before we can take a break from the soft and hard attacks in "Tai Chi O", the first instalment of Stephen Fung's kungfu trilogy that was released just a month ago, the 38-year-old filmmaker continues to strike the big screens with his sequel "Tai Chi Hero", which brings us more dangers and thrills in Master Chen and martial arts genius Yang Luchan's journey.

In "Tai Chi Hero", the lucky Yang Luchan (Yuan Xiao Chao) exchanges marriage vows with Master Chen's (Tony Leung Ka-fai) daughter Yu Niang (Angelababy) but it takes time for Yu Niang to accept their relationship as husband and wife. As Yu Niang does not love Luchan yet, she decides to begin their marriage by teaching his husband Tai Chi every day and night. A sudden reappearance by Yu Niang's elder brother Zai Yang (Feng Shaofeng) in Chen village brings about chaos in the village, as he reminds the villagers about the real reason why Chen-style kung fu is not allowed to be taught to outsiders, including Luchan. According to the old myth provided by a crazy monk (Daniel Wu) years ago, the whole village will face destruction and tragedies if the Chen representatives hand their knowledge of martial arts to those who are not from the family. Meanwhile, Fang Zi Jing (Eddie Peng) is looking for a helping hand from Fleming (Peter Stormare) to seek revenge with Chen village by attacking them with huge army forces and weapons.

To compensate for the average acting performance by a fresh actor like Yuan Xiao Chao, Fung and his team realize that there is a need for them to bring in a more experienced cast to back him up. Besides having heavyweights like Tony Leung Ka-fai, adding Feng Shaofeng into the story is inarguably one of the wiser choices they have made. The Shanghai-born actor shows his in-depth portrayal of a man who tries to break the norms of a traditional kungfu family by pursuing his dreams of inventing machines instead of learning martial arts from his father, Master Chen.

Speaking of kungfu, martial arts designers Sammo Hung and Tip Yip did not disappoint us but has gained our respect by forming yet another classic one-on-one battle in kungfu film history. Audiences will hold their breath while watching the fight between Yuan Xiao Chao and Hong Kong veteran action star Yuan Biao. The way both kungfu specialists challenge each other with fists and kicks across the tops of partitions and dividing walls at the kitchen of Prince Dun will make you sweat with the anxiety due to their unpredictable fighting strategies. This fantastic battle will remind you of the Sammo Hung and Donnie Yen fight using Wing Chun and Hung-style punches on a table in "Ip Man 2".

Despite having steampunk, rock and roll music and video game effects in the movie, the contemporary ideas did not overshadow the soul of tai chi. In fact, they play an important role on helping the production team to show people the contrasting ideals between the peaceful Chen villagers and the cold-blooded Western authorities.

Before the last episode comes out, try taking a wild ride with Yang Luchan and witness how an orphan like him turns over a new leaf from zero to a hero in the world of "Tai Chi Hero".

Cinema Online, 30 October 2012
   
Showtimes
 
Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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