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Tai Chi 2: Review of a Tai Chi movie

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If there ever was a martial arts porno movie category, taichi 2 certainly would be on top of its class. Serving more as an introduction to then newcomer Wu Jing, this movie is all about fighting. The longest sequence in without fighting is around 7 minutes, featuring scenes that seem to have no other function than to introduce the settings for the next frantic fight.

 

Year of release: 
1996             
Original Title: 
太極 2
Directors:
Yuen Woo-ping
Xinyan Zhang
Original Language: 
Cantonese
Actors:
Alternate titles:
Tai Chi Boxer


Characters with martial arts background

Hawk Man (Jacky) played by Jacky Wu
Young man who, for most of his life, was forced by his father to remain home and study. During this time, he somehow manages to train himself to a very high level of martial arts proficiency.
Master Yang (Jacky's father) played by Hai Yu
Respected man who retired and move away from the "jiang hu" to better raise his son. Played by real life mantis kung fu master, his character manages to slip in some mantis moves in a fight opposing Jacky.
Great kick from the North (who uses no name) played by Billy Chow
Not much is known about this mysterious Northern fighter, who specialises in kicks. He introduces himself by his last name, Wong, and states he uses no name.
Mr smith played by Darren Shahlavi
The typical foreigner villain, mr smith works for the east india company, a British controlled company that smuggles and sells opium in the Chinese territory.
fight2
Fight between Jacky and Mr. Smith

Synopsis

A taichi trained mischief falls for Rose, the American educated daughter of the local magistrate. This leads our hero into fights with Rose's arranged-marriage fiance, an old challenger of the family and with British opium smugglers.

 

Training scenes

Although the movie starts with our hero being a young boy, transition to adulthood is done without scenes of his training.

Presumptions that he learned anything apart from basic techniques from his father are partly dismissed by the fact that even his own father is surprised by Jacky's victory over highly trained bodyguards.It is never mentionned how he achieved his mastery of taichi.

Jacky mentions learning mantis style through books and acquired pig tail whipping power by studying while having his pig tail tied to the ceiling.

The mastery resulting from the alleged training Jacky received is highly implosible. 

JackyPose

Fighting scenes

Fighting scenes are abundant in this movie, yet they manage to stay fresh, with creative settings and movements.

All fights are wire assisted, allowing characters to leap (not fly) great heights with seemingly little effort.Wires are also used to makes objects and people fly after being hit, making the moves impressive and entertaining but improbable, from a physics point of view.

Most moves used by Jacky are taichi based movements, though his unrealisticly powerful pig tail whip is also often used. The pig tail moves are perhaps, the most annoying moves from the movie. The way people fly as a result of getting hit is   way over the lack of realism threshold I can tolerate.

pigtail
Jacky, holding his weapon... his pigtail

Just like video games characters from fighting games, Jacky shouts the name of his move while executing it, presumably so that his opponents know what hit them.

 

Historical value

This movie takes place somewhere in the late 1800's to the beginning the the 1900's.  Asides from the presence of British foreigners smuggling opium while under the rule of dowager Cixi, not much solid historical clues are found. It is mentioned that Hong Kong island was given to the English, which inturn would make the events occur after 1841, year of the cession of Hong Kong. Finally, the presence of revolutionaries hints the presence of Dr. Sun Yat Sen movement to fight for a new democratic republic of China. In any case, none of these historical events play any part in the story of this movie.

While the general settings of the movie is passably accurate, the fight following the first encounter between Jacky and Rose does have a big historical flaw. During a town celebration in the honor of the dragon God, villagers sacrifices as offering, two pure children, a boy and a girl. While China did at one point in his history practice such ritual, they most likely had stopped for a few centuries by the era (and location) the movie depicts.

 

Rumble in the bronx?

When Hawk Man asks his mother for an English name, she gives him the name Jacky, explaining that she met a hero name "Jacky" during her stay in the American "red district " (紅番區 hong faan kui).   Hong Faan Kui 紅番區 happens to be the original Chinese title of Jackie Chan's Rumble in the Bronx.

RumbleIntheBronx

 

 



 

 

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 December 2011 09:05  

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