Those who are intrigued by martial arts in reel life must have seen Keanu Reeves’ movie, Man of Tai Chi. Exciting martial arts sequences based on Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese martial style made popular by actor Jet Li, are featured in the film.
Talking about Jet Li, he is a Chinese actor, film producer, and martial artist. The actor is well-known for his expertise in Tai Chi, a Chinese martial art with a history dating back 3,100 years. However, Man of Tai Chi, Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut, is widely panned by critics and practitioners of the ancient martial art for dishonoring the art.
Also Read: Greatest Martial Arts Movies On Netflix, Ranked By Rotten Tomatoes Score
What is Man of Tai Chi about?
It is a 2013 Chinese-American martial arts film directed by Keanu Reeves. It also stars Keanu Reeves, Tiger Chen, Iko Uwais, Karen Mok, and Simon Yam.
Reeves has wanted to make a movie with his long-time friend and collaborator Tiger Chen (Reeves’ stunt double in The Matrix films) since 2007. The Man of Tai Chi was an idea that came from their collective imagination.
This is the first film in which Keanu Reeves got to play the role of a villain. Tiger Hu Chen plays a martial arts expert, who gets involved with an underground fight club managed by security specialist Donaka Mark, the character played by Keanu Reeves.
The action-packed scenes in the film are enough to entice fans of martial-arts films.
Also Read: Keanu Reeves’ John Wick 4 Co-Star Ripped Heavy Bags Off the Wall “Multiple Times” With Inhuman 10,000 Sidekicks
However, there are many who believe the film inaccurately portrays the ancient art of Tai Chi. It is filled with uneven fight scenes, and somewhere, the film becomes less about the art of fighting, which can give a bad impression of Tai Chi. Some also believe that fighting scenes based on fantasy may give the impression that Tai Chi is not a practical martial art.
Jet Li popularised Tai Chi
Li Lianjie, known by his stage name Jet Li, is a legendary martial arts star. He is a trained Wushu athlete and won his first national championship at the age of 11.
After retiring at the age of 18, he made his debut as an actor with the martial arts film, Shaolin Temple. He has starred in several critically acclaimed martial arts films, including the super hit, Tai Chi Master.
For Jet Li, who has trained in Tai Chi for over three decades, the martial art represents traditional Chinese culture. He has also founded a wellness company based on Taijiquan and Taiji philosophy with Alibaba founder, Jack Ma.