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Tai-Chi Master (1993)
"Tai ji: Zhang San Feng" (original title)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 6,809 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 40 critic

Two friends ex Shaolin monks part ways as they brush with the ongoing rebellion against the government. The ambitious one rise up to e a powerful military commander, while his betrayed friend resorts to learn the calm ways of Tai Chi.

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(as Yuen Woo Ping)

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(screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Chin Bo (as Chin Siu Ho)
Fennie Yuen ...
Miss Li (as Fannie Yuen)
Cheung-Yan Yuen ...
Rev. Ling (as Yuen Cheung Yan)
Shun Lau ...
Master Jueyuan (as Lau Shun)
Hai Yu ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kam Kong Chow
Yung-chang Ho
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Storyline

Jet Li was a monk in Shaolin. In a friendly competition for a higher place in Shaolin, his childhood friend almost kills a fellow student for using a concealed weapon (which cannot be used in the competition). He and his friend got kicked out of the Shaolin. They met rebellions at that time of China. His friend betrayed Jet Li and his rebellion friends for money from the China government. Jet Li went crazy and discovered the art of Tai Chi at the recover period. Revenge seem to the only thing he is going to do. Written by Han Kin Hung <fstchhk@lux.latrobe.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

shaolin | tai chi | china | battle | fight | See All (57) »

Taglines:

Une rencontre de légende


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for martial arts violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 November 1993 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Tai-Chi Master  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donnie Yen was offered the role of Chin Bo, but turned it down to pursue his solo career. See more »

Goofs

In the final fight, the wires are visible. See more »

Quotes

Junbao: Enough! Stop living in your past! What do you think you're doing here? Stop shoving me away! The past is what makes up who we are. Don't let it become your burden.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Parting the wild horse's mane
9 November 2012 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Tai chi is a wonderful thing. I count myself fortunate that I was exposed to it through my experience with meditation, because deep down it is the same means of absorption. It can be a viable fighting art, though if your ass is on the line and you need quick fighting skills, you better join your nearest boxing or thai school.

This film about it is a superb introduction. I'm not talking strictly about the story or the fighting itself, though the story is rousing and Jet Li is an artist at what he does. The story is of how the Shaolin monk Shanfeng according to legend came to originate taiji. When you see this, it helps to know that Sanfeng was most likely a fictional person invented for political reasons. And some of the wire-work is noticeably obvious, which only abets the air of artistic license and fictional disguise.

No matter. In fact, I think a lot of the appeal of this is the contrast between superficial fabrications and deep truths, the contrast being strangely affirmative because both are modeled in the same way. It flows, hard to soft and back again.

'Hard' - young Shanfeng adhering to the teachings and being pure of heart doesn't cut it, his friend -turned rival- beats him, loved ones perish. The world is cruel, you don't meet force with force.

'Soft' - sudden enlightenment in the mountains, madness and gibberish as meditation, coupled with a series of visual meditation in the exercise doll centered low, spinning ball and transference by wave, all of which are also keen in-sights into taiji structure.

And 'hard' again in the rousing finale where he defeats hordes of opponents - nevermind the far-fetched fiction, look for the noticeable transition in Jet Li from previous kung fu into now fluid motions, circular evasion and low stances.

It works much better for me than Once Upon in China or the later Crouching Tiger, where again you will see Michelle Yeoh and a lot of taiji. The outer circle is what each of the two Shaolin boys chooses as his personal fate expressed through the action plot, and this is decided by the inner 'small' circle of cultivating the mind, and the change reflected in the change of dance in the movements of the body. Nice.


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