Set in the mid Qing Dynasty, Yang Lu Chan, better known as, 'The Freak,' was born with a small protrusion coming out of his head. When fighting in battle, and the film only shows this twice and once was a flash back to the first time, he is activated by a smack on his head on his 'three blossoms'. It's never explained why it's called 'three blossoms.' When he is activated into a Kung Fu fighting machine, his face goes into a kind of ashen gray state and his eyes glow.
Chan finds out that once his protrusion turns black, he could die at any time. When he fights, it uses up some type of energy within him and turns the protrusion darker and darker.
A doctor who minsters to him after being injured in battle tells him about his condition and suggests that he goes and learn the Kung Fu of a master called Master Chen. It is called Kung Fu, but it also has the word internal in the title. This word makes it kind of sound more Bruce Leeish. There is never any explanation of this term.
Chan finds out where the small village of Chen is and sets out to find Master Chen and learn his Kung Fu secrets. However, once he gets there, people either tell him that Chen doesn't teach outsiders, or they beat him up. Neither makes him give up.
The romance that plays itself out, is between a rather pompous villager by the name of Fan Zijing. The leading lady of the film, played by the lovely Angelababy is Chen Yu Niang. When Zijing is humiliated during a meeting to show the elders of the village the train he wants to build, he leaves the village only to return with a train that looks like a space ship and builds its own track after it has passed through. Along with Zijing comes a lovely English speaking, green-eyed beauty who is in charge of the train and the plot to tear the village down.
Soon Niang finds out that Zijing loves the newcomer and steals a book to future out how to kill the train. Yan Lu Chan has been beat to a pulp by everyone including Niang and a little girl.
The one talent that Chan has is that he can copy any Kung Fu move he has seen. Once he has proven that he can be an asset to the village he and Niang join up and destroy the train, building a bond between them.
This isn't the end of the movie, there is a threat by the elders to kill Chan, a marriage and a whole lot of footage of the sequel "Tai Chi Hero." This franchise will eventually become a trilogy.
The film, while being visually pleasing has a few problems.
Is this film: A drama, a comedy, is it Manga, is it an instructional video or a video game? "Tai Chi Zero" has properties of all of the above. It's certainly cartoonish, or anima, or Manga in several places. It's difficult to follow, and the biggest problem, the English sub-titles go by so quickly, one can't read all of the dialogue.
Don't misunderstand, this isn't a bad movie, it just isn't a film that will have a big audience outside the Kung-Fu and martial arts community.
"Tai Chi Zero" hits the shelves on DVD January 22.
There are two copies of this film, on Blu-ray that will be given away. To win all you have to do is go to my Facebook page and 'like' this article.
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