The Tai-Chi Master (1993)
Reviewed by: Arshadnm6 on 2005-04-08
Summary: Good Overall Action Movie!!
Great old-school style movie about 2 shaolin monks (Jet Li and Chin Siu-Ho), who train in martial arts from childhood to adulthood and become embroiled in a feud with one of their teachers, who dislikes them from the beginning. After being expelled from the school they go their separate ways, where one joins a family restaurant run by government rivals (including Michelle Yeoh) and the other joins the military only to become enemies in the future. Jet Li learns Tai Chi after his friend his betrayed him.

Lots of martial arts in the intricately created format of Yuen Woo Ping’s action choreography. This film is equivalent to John Woo’s bullet galore ‘Hard Boiled’ in martial arts. However, it lacks a detailed storyline and most of the characters seem to be embroiled in themselves most of the time. There is a lesson behind the film of friendship and betrayal although none of the actors are given any opportunity to divulge into deeper matters of acting which makes them look very 2D (i.e. the basic characters dominate the screen most of the time).

Also, most of the action is focused on one versus many and the one-on-one encounters are not very satisfying as they are undermined by the earlier since many earlier 1990’s martial arts focused on this aspect. Since this movie was made earlier on during the growth of the main actors, much of the above is expected.

Overall, Tai Chi Master suits all of the characters roles (especially Jet Li) similar to Fong Sai Yuk I and II. A good film with enough going to keep everyone reasonably entertained but not intellectually challenging in regards to the plot. Good entertainment none-the-less!!!

Overall Rating: 7.1/10