Man of Tai Chi

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A high-flying, bone-crunching, super-charged saga of self-realization through martial arts, Man of Tai Chi marks the directorial debut of iconic actor Keanu Reeves. The action-packed story, set in modern Bejing, follows a quiet delivery man recruited to take part in illegal, no-holds-barred fights, where financial rewards can be dizzyingly high — often at the cost of one’s soul. Linhu (former Matrix stuntman Tiger Chen) lives in a Beijing tenement block. When not working, he studies English and practices a form of tai chi called Ling Kong, which means “Empty your spirit.” Everything changes when Linhu receives an offer from a mysterious businessman, Donaka Mark (Reeves), to compete in an underground fight club. Initially Linhu turns Donaka down, until he realizes how his earnings could rescue his tai chi master’s dilapidated temple from being demolished. But success as a fighter — fuelled by his deeply traditional, disciplined mode of martial art — brings out a savage side in Linhu. As the fights intensify, so does his will to survive, and the real battle becomes an internal one – between Linhu’s pacifist principles and his increasingly violent impulses. (Dir. by Keanu Reeves, 2013, USA/China/Hong Kong, in English, Cantonese & Mandarin with subtitles, 105 mins., Rated R, RADiUS-TWC) Digital