Tai Chi Boxer Movie PosterThis was Jacky Wu Jing’s first film, and much like his newer movies he plays a lead role showing off his fantastic martial arts skill with quality action and a simple plot.

Jacky plays ‘Jacky’,  a Chinese boy who is forced to study and live out his young life in his father’s study, uh, studying.  Of course he secretly watches his father, who is a master of a Tai Chi style (an older version of Jet Li’s character in Tai Chi master).

Whilst growing up he secretly strengthens himself in his father’s study and practices his Kung Fu and by the time he is of ‘Wu Jing’ age (I say that because he starts the movie as a small boy!) he is quite proficient.

But everything starts to change when he escapes the study one day and meets a young girl by the name of Rose, who studies over in the US.

When two young boys are about to be thrown into a river and killed for some kind of stupid ceremony, Rose tries to stop them when Hawkman (later to be given the English name Jacky) steps in and saves the boys, fighting off the men trying to kill them.

From there he and Rose hit it off and become good friends, and eventually start to fancy each other.  This of course leads to trouble with her arranged fiancee and the gang he is caught up with who are smuggling Opium.  So naturally lots of Kung Fu fights are to be had while JackyWu Jing keeps a light hearted smile on his face throughout the whole movie!

A Love Story

As mentioned before the main character Jacky becomes pretty fond of the girl Rose.  With her overseas study she seems to come form an opposite place than Jacky who has been brought up very traditional under his parents.

Jacky and Rose

What’s funny is when Jacky tells his mother he met this girl she goes to great efforts to help him sneak around behind his fathers back.  She, like all mothers of young men, wants grand children and therefore does all she can help get the two together, which usually leads to some funny circumstances.

Both Jacky and Rose meet resistance from her fiancee (arranged by their parents).  He often steps in making things difficult for the two to see each other.  When he invites Rose to his Birthday party, Rose decides to bring Jackie – pissing him off majorly!  So naturally to two have a fight to determine who is best for Rose in typical Kung Fu movie style!

Jacky’s character through this whole situation, is very ‘happy go lucky’.  He almost alway shas a cheeky smile on his faced and extreme confidence in his abilities.  Nothing seems to bother him and with his training background no one seems to be able to best him – not even his father!

The Martial Arts and Action

Being that this one of Yuen Woo Ping’s movies I expected a lot of wire work – but was not as obvious as usual.  There are a few scenes where you can see wires but ultimately the action seems to rely on Wu Jing’s fanatastic abilities in the fight scenes and creates some top notch fights.

Tai Chi Boxer Action Scene

Wu Jing’s presence and his style is so smooth in this movie, you really get that feeling of authenticity when you watch him shape up.  being that his background is Wushu, he pulls off some really awesome looking kicks and really stands out in every single scene he’s in.

The fights are performed and choreographed well and show off Wu Jing’s abilities; they’re relatively exciting and just a pleasure to watch.

Darren Shahlavi in Tai Chi Boxer

This movie also has a young Darren Shahlavi (who played Twister in Ip Man 2) as the top bad guy form England.  Since this movie was made in 1996, it’s good to see some current martial arts talent showing off their stuff back then – with Wu Jing and Darren being in their early twenties.

 Would I Recommend it?

If you’re a Wu Jing fan – definitely.  If not, still check it out – it’s a pretty decent movie with some good martial arts and a decent plot to keep you interested.  A good one for Kung Fu movie fans.

It’s a bit hard to find, I can only find a Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc) DVD here.  Another motivator for going region free.

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