Tai Chi Master / Twin Warriors
Ever since Tienbo (Chin Siu Ho) first met Junbao (Jet Li) all those many-many years ago, somehow these two super-strong Shaolin students have always gotten themselves into some sort of trouble.
Yeah. No kidding. When they eventually learned how to fight -- POW! -- They got kicked out of their school for beating up their class-mates. When they attempted to help out the impoverished Miss Li (Fennie Yuen) -- THUNK! -- They inadvertently befriended her renegade pals. And when they intervened with Siu Lin's (Michelle Yeoh) marital distress -- THWAK! -- They ended up hiding in a coffee house from her spouse's toffee-nosed wife.
However, sometime later, when they both take a stab at performing a strong-man act to earn themselves some money, something completely different happens to them by default.
No. They don't start a double-act called Tienbo-Junbao. Tienbo gets recruited into an oppressive war-like regime, thus leaving Junbao behind with his renegade brethren.
Alright. I know what you're thinking to yourself. This peculiar turn of events must surely change the dynamics in Tienbo and Junbao's relationship! Right? Well, they're defiantly bound to butt-heads sooner of later!
But no. At first, things seems be fairly amicable between these two old friends. Going so far that Tienbo even helps out Junbao and the renegade's when they get into a right ruckus at the aforementioned coffee house.
Still, due to Tienbo own hard-lined leanings, that's most probably why what next transpires really kicks off when a massacre is prearranged. As betrayers betray - the Tao shows the way - passions lead to hate - and whilst one super strong Shaolin student dies, the other one follows the path of fate.
Now in all honesty 'Tai-Chi Master' is one of those kung-fu comedy's that set's out and achieves precisely what it wanted to accomplish in the first place -- entertain- entertain-entertain. Yet not only is it very funny, very action packed, and manages to tell a pretty decent story in the process, but it does this whilst adding a very cartoon-like edge to the overall package.
Yeah. Honestly. Try to think of this film as a conceptual mix-mash of 'Drunken Master' meets 'Guilty By Suspicion'; just replace the political edge of the latter movie with the polished sheen of a Hong Kong classic like 'Once Upon a Time in China'. Furthermore, I'd say that the conceptual narrative has a touch of 'Tom and Jerry' and a splattering of ' Cain and Abel' too; deliberately making this movie one hell of a movie to watch.
Now where was I? Oh, yeah. 'Tai-Chi Master'. Or whatever you may want to call it. Wow! What a great film.
Overall, 'Tai Chi Master' is one cracking film. And I'd personally recommend it to anyone who likes some Tom and Jerry with their kicking and slapping. It's that good.
A Jet Li classic. Defiantly one to watch.
THE RATING: A