Director: Stephen Fung
Starring: Jayden Yuan, Angelababy, Eddie Peng, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Peter Stormare, Daniel Wu
Distributed by: Well-Go Entertainment
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 100 minutes
Our Score: 1.5 out of 5 stars
When I read about a kung-fu movie that infused both martial arts with steampunk, I was very interested. Then I saw the film “Tai Chi Zero” and was not really blown away but not disappointed either. “Tai Chi Hero” is the second film in a trilogy from the creators of “Ip Man” and “Detective Dee”, which are two of my favorites. This film is a real disappointment and an all around waste of time. I honestly do not think that I have ever been this bored watching a martial arts film. It was shot back-to-back with the film film and I think that they really gave all the attention to the first child in the series and forgot about the second one. There is little to no action in the film and the story is not interesting at all. The first one wasn’t amazing but this film makes it shine.
Official Premise: Lu Chan (Jayden Yuan) is still trying to find his place in Chen Village, the legendary town where everyone is a martial arts master…and Chen-style Tai Chi is forbidden to outsiders. But since he helped save the town from a frightening steam-powered machine, Yuniang (Angelababy), beautiful daughter of Grandmaster Chen (Tony Leung Ka-Fai), agrees to marry Lu Chan and bring him into the family. It’s only a formality, though – she is the teacher, and he is the student – and that suits Lu Chan just fine, as the mutant horn on his head gives him incredible kung-fu power, but leaves him dumber each time, and closer to death. Chen Village still stands in the shadow of danger. A prodigal brother returns, Lu Chan’s presence invokes a curse on the town, and Yuniang’s scorned fiancée has an appetite for revenge, as well as some new partners in crime.
The best thing about this film is that it features its martial arts are directed by Sammo Hung. He is such a legend when it comes to martial arts. But with this film, the charm just isn’t there. His work is matched with beauty and a certain zen feel but neither is present here. The first film had some amazing martial arts and visual effects with this film they just seemed like they blew their whole budget on the first film and struggled to piece this one together. Also it has a strange appearance from American actor Peter Stormare (“Fargo”). Lastly the film like “Tai Chi Zero” was shot in 3D, but is not being released in 3D here in the U.S. There is not much in this film anyway, besides added depth, that would have benefited from this but the plane scenes cool have been cool. So unless you absolutely love the first film and need to see this sequel, then I would suggest passing for sure.