|Tai Chi Zero (2012)|
|Starring:||Yuan Xiaochao, Eddie Peng, Angelababy, Shu Qi, Feng Shaofeng, and Tony Leung Ka-Fai|
Much has been made, rightfully of course, about the comic book style found in Tai Chi Zero. In many circles, it has been considered a classic case of style over substance, and indeed that seems like a decent description for the movie, but this overtly stylish direction can certainly be appreciated within the right circumstances. With Tai Chi Zero, there is a lot of “dumb fun” to be had if the audience is willing to go along with the movie. It’s one of the few Chinese films that I have seen in quite a while that doesn’t need two hours to tell its story, and it does its best to try and bring its cartoonish world to life. Indeed, Tai Chi Zero is a combination of Japanese anime and video games as well as traditional wuxia. Featuring segments that look identical to a Capcom fighting game, as well as one impeccable bit where the camera moves into a first-person-perspective that is obviously referencing the first-person-shooter genre, Tai Chi Zero is in love with video game culture. It truly seems as if every scene features some form of post-production thought bubble or cartoonish sidebar that gives levity to the movie. Granted, some of this stuff can be incredibly over-the-top, but hey, it works! The scenes that are supposed to be “cool,” they are. The humor adds a lot to the movie, and this sort of clever postmodern view of martial cinema is something that continually keeps me entertained.