‘Man of Tai Chi’ International Trailer Shows Off Keanu Reeves’ Directorial Debut

Published 2 years ago by

One of the more fascinating developments in recent international filmmaking has been the rise of American-Chinese co-productions. These have ranged from co-financing deals (such as with Looper) to the recent full logistical backing lent to Transformers 4 by the Chinese government. Somewhere between the two falls Man of Tai Chi, an upcoming martial arts film shot in Beijing, but directed by Hollywood stalwart Keanu Reeves (47 Ronin).

A mix of action and personal drama, Man of Tai Chi follows a young man given the opportunity to develop his talents as a martial arts fighter. Promised, “No rules; no referees,” he enters a series of underground mixed martial arts fights. His decision will plunge him into an increasingly painful and tumultuous underworld.

Man of Tai Chi marks Reeves’ directing debut. The film stars Iko Uwais (The Raid: Redemption), Tiger Hu Chen (Kung Fu Hero), Karen Mok (Shaolin Soccer), and Reeves himself.

Man of Tai Chi Man of Tai Chi International Trailer Shows Off Keanu Reeves Directorial Debut

This first, Chinese-targeted preview for Man of Tai Chi leans heavily on Reeves’ international figure to sell the film. It shows off plenty of bone-crunching action without giving much of an idea of the overall plot, which is somewhat refreshing in an era in which trailers tend to act as condensed outlines for entire movies.

That said, it’s difficult to discern just how well Reeves will perform behind the camera, due to the trailer’s lightning-quick edits. In addition, there’s a certain underlying cheese factor to the affair, what with Reeves’ dead-serious narration and staccato delivery of, “LET…THE SHOW…BEGIN.” Whether Man of Tai Chi will end up being the beginning of a promising new phase in Reeves’ career or an unintentional howler remains to be seen.


Man of Tai Chi will prove its worth in theaters in late 2013.

Follow Kyle Hembree on Twitter @ProjectNightHam
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  1. It does look generic, but it is rare to see Keanu nowadays headline a movie so I have little problem with this career deviation. He would fit nicely into a niche genre market so when you imagine him sitting down and looking at his career for the most enduring imagery and characters, he would note ‘Neo’ as the truly recognisable international character. Why not then ride his association with martial arts out and fit himself into this market?

    Indeed, his company ‘Company Films’ has just signed a co-production deal to develop film projects with the Shanghai-based company ‘Fundamental’, so this is where he see himself in the industry now.

    Good luck to him, I say.

  2. Not the best trailer in the world

  3. what the f did I just watched

  4. I really like Keanu Reeves, haven’t seen many of his films but really enjoyed the ones that I did watch. I hope he succeeds with this film.

  5. That narration was awful

  6. Keanu Reeves looks and sounds stiff and robotic in this trailer. The trailer itself seems cheap and poorly edited like a straight to VHS action movie in the early 90′s.

  7. Hmmm martial arts movies based around some kind of tournament piqued with Bloodsport for me, it had the right tone and amount of cheese, everything else since has just sucked hard!

    • And that Bloodsport was loosely based off of a real event and a real person..yeah, they have all sucked since then.

      • There is no proof that Frank Dukes actually did fight and win a Kumite…So Bloodsport is pretty much bullsh*t probably.

  8. I’ll see it.

  9. Damn it, at first glance I thought this said “Man of Steel international trailer” :(

  10. …meh…

  11. It could have been worse…i think…nope no it couldn’t have.

  12. Keanu and kung fu? Ok, I might give it a shot…

  13. recent update: movie sucked. probably because of the Chinese story and dialogue. No offense, but China hasn’t made a decent film since they regained control of Hong Kong… this flick is no exception.