What happens when you mix kung fu, steampunk, comic books, video games, and dub step all together? You get the above trailer for the new film Tai Chi Zero, from director Stephen Fung.
The movie, which features fight choreography by the legendary Sammo Hung (Ip Man, Ip Man 2), is an odd but compelling mish-mash of genres that is reminiscent of such modern classics as Kung Fu Hustle (with a dash of Scott Pilgrim thrown in for good measure).
Here’s the official synopsis:
As an uncommonly gifted child, Yang Luchan had a fleshy abnormality that holds tremendous power growing on his forehead. However, being teased as the town fool, Yang’s mother spurs him to practice martial arts, and following her wishes, Yang travels to the distant Chen Village to learn TAI CHI. At this legendary village everyone practices TAI CHI and uses TAI CHI in every aspect of their lives. Nevertheless, it is forbidden for a villager to disclose TAI CHI to an outsider, which Yang learns the hard way.
Upon arriving at the village, locals discourage Yang by challenging him with fights. From the strong men to old ladies to children, everyone defeats Yang with their TAI CHI moves. After facing the toughest battle and being defeated by Master Chen’s beautiful daughter Yuniang, Yang is determined to master the art of TAI CHI and goes in search of Master Chen. Little does Yang know, the poor strange man who he befriended is in fact Master Chen who had saved him from the duel with Yuniang. Master Chen realizes Yang’s genius and disguises himself to secretly guide Yang to his self realization of TAI CHI.
One day, a frightening steam-powered machine comes to the village, lead by Fang Zijing, a childhood friend of Yuniang. He has bribed government officials to permit him to build a railway that will run straight through the village. Yang decides to join forces with Yuniang to defeat Fang Zijing and destroy the machine. This brave act may just win him the hearts of the villagers….
And check out an even goofier “Ultimate” trailer and two clips from Tai Chi Zero:
At its heart, Tai Chi Zero has a very traditional plot – an outsider wins over a small town by learning kung fu and helping them defeat a greater threat. But visually, the movie is all over the map (in a good way). It may not play well to general audiences, but this movie is tailor-made for not only kung fu fans, but all kinds of nerds.
Tai Chi Zero comes out in limited release this weekend, October 19th, 2012. If you’re a kung fu fan, it’s definitely worth checking out.