I had just gotten off the flight and back to Singapore. The first thing I did after going home for a quick shower is to attend the Gala Premier of Tai Chi 0 also known as Taichi Zero. It has been a long time since I watched a chinese movie at a cinema and I was excited and ready to emerse myself in the world of Hong Kong movie theatrics.
The main lead, Yuan Xiaochao; the famous director, Stephen Fung; and one of my favorite veteran actors Tony Leong Ka-Fai were here in Singapore to grace the premier. I really wished that Angelababy could have made it too!
Taichi 0 was definitely entertaining. It firmly reminded me of Edgar Wright’s ‘Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World’ in terms of the visual direction but being a Hong Kong martial arts film, this one has way better kungfu moves. Stephen Fung gathered a huge celebrity cameo for this movie and most of them famous actors/actress of other noteworthy martial arts films or directors of popular Hong Kong movies. The director’s love for martial artist of the pasts can be seen evidently here.
The main storyline follows Yang Lu Chan’s journey to learn Taichi which is a skill that the Chen village does not teach outsiders. At the village, there is an invading steam punk battalion and Yang would need to work with the village to rid them of this mence to earn his way in acquiring the Taichi knowledge.
While I feel that the movie is a little disjointed and unfocused at times due to the multiple pop reference and styles that the director tries to incorporate all at once to a 2 hour movie, I loved all the martial arts scenes.The fighting is fluid and soild. It’s the sort of fist to fist exchange you can never get out of Hollywood movies. This is also the debut movie for lead actor Yuan Xiaochao. He reminds me of the Jet Li of yesteryears in a lot of his movement and actions.
Angelababy and Eddie Peng are the pretty faces of the movie. Angelababy looks as pretty as ever even though her role wore minimal makeup. I’m really pleasantly surprised that Angelababy could act so well in a martial arts role! She’s is definitely not just a pretty face and the lead female role deservingly goes to her.
My favorite actor however, still goes to Tony Leung Ka-Fai. He doesn’t have that much screen time but he plays his character so effortlessly and realistically.
Taichi 0 takes a different direction from the usual chinese martial arts movie with a lot of comic book and video games styling. I spotted references to angry birds and Fruit Ninja in one of the battle scenes! With Summo Hung heading as action director, I was glued to the screen for all the fighting scenes. The end unfortunately leaves me hanging as Taichi0 is a two-parter (or maybe more) with Taichi Hero slated to release 3 weeks after Taichi 0. Now I need to watch Taichi Hero to continue the journey! It feels a little like playing an arcade machine that has the ‘continue?’ countdown on the screen. I need to fish out another coin before I can see the power of Taichi unleashed in its full potential.