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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Action > Drama > Historic > Steampunk > China > Tai Chi Hero (2012/aka Tai Chi Hero 2: The Hero Rises/Well Go USA Blu-ray)

Tai Chi Hero (2012/aka Tai Chi Hero 2: The Hero Rises/Well Go USA Blu-ray)


Picture: A-     Sound: B     Extras: C     Film: A-



After barely being accepted into Chen Village, Lu Chan (A.K.A. the Freak) and the Chen village continues to falls unto even more danger.  With the railroad being force-built through their village, Westerners invading, and Yunliang’s ex-fiancé returns with an army and revenge on his mind, Master Chen's prodigal son returns, but is he friend or foe?  As the village continues to resist outsiders and change some begin to believe Lu Chan is a curse more than a blessing, but can traditional martial arts defeat modern western weaponry?  Thus is the set up in Stephen Fung’s Tai Chi Hero (2012), which is actually the second film in what seems to be becoming a series.


From zero to hero continues on where the first Tai Chi Zero (released earlier the same year from the same director) left us, Lu Chan is a kung fu genius is trying to learn the tradition martial arts of the Chen village. After marrying the headmaster's daughter, she teaches this 'outsider' the secrets of her family martial arts, but can she teach him in time?  With the return of not only her scorned fiancée, but also the return of her outcast brother, questions of following traditions and who is to inherit grand master title is called into question by the village elders, but the past comes back to destroy the village with steampunk power mechanisms of the East India Trading Company, can Lu Chan step up and become hero everyone hopes? 


This film has a steam punk versus martial arts sense, filled with plenty of CG choreographed fighting scenes, was very symbolic of the Chinese pride and resistance against westernization as the Westerners were viewed as forces of evil trying to destroying/steal China and its traditions.  Ironically the main source of their problems wasn't technology, but the stubbornness to change, if they didn't scorn or rejected all new ideas then wouldn't have had so many jaded people wanting revenge later, change comes weather you want it or not.  In all, it was a very amuse martial arts movie, the main thing I enjoyed was all steam punk designs of the machines.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer seems to be a RED EPIC 5K HD shoot like its predecessor and looks as good as it is going to in this format with only very minor issues in the transfer to complain about, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix has a very consistent soundfield, but the sound effects are the star of the mix, so much so that dialogue recording seems underwhelming.  Extras include a making of featurette Zero to Hero and trailers.



-   Ricky Chiang


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