'Tai Chi Master'next Hong Kong film at Charles

April 01, 1996|By Stephen Hunter

The Charles continues its Monday Screening Series tonight at 7:30 with another crazed item from Hong Kong, "The Tai Chi Master."

The movie's plot seems extracted from "Angels With Dirty Faces" and squirted into Kurasawa's great "Ran" as directed by a 10th-degree black belt. Jet Li and Chin Siu-Ho play Shaolin priest acolytes who are expelled for their exuberance, wander Ming dynasty China but ultimately split up, one going bad, the other staying good.

But forget that. Think: Pow! Whap! Bang! Thud! Think upside the head and through the air.

The movie works hard to preserve its period authenticity, but the fight sequences are state of the art, incredible stuff. There's a sequence where Le and his new distaff pal Michelle Khan/Yeoh go two-on-army that has to be seen to be believed.

The director is Yuen Wao-Ping.

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