All I knew about "Tai Chi Zero" until now is that it sounded like the Coca-Cola company was getting into the diet martial arts business, and that the film was playing both Toronto and Fantastic Fest.

I started my day today by watching the trailer for the film and by opening my inbox to see that we'd been sent an exclusive poster from the film to premiere.  Okay, so at that point, watching the trailer becomes a requirement, right?  I figure I'm obligated to take a look now.

What was I waiting for?

"Tai Chi Zero" reminds me at first glance of "Kung-Fu Hustle," and considering my almost embarrassing affection for that film, I'd consider that a good thing.  It also looks like it's about playing with standard kung-fu movie tropes, and that can be a lot of fun when it's done right.

Here's the film's plot synopsis:

TAI CHI ZERO tells the story of Yang Luchan, a young genius who, tired of being picked on, travels to Chen Village to learn the art of Tai Chi. Luchan finds out the hard way that it is forbidden for a villager to teach an outsider when the villagers, from strong men to old women to little children, repeatedly challenge him to a series of fights, all of which he loses quite badly. But when a frightening army of steampunk soldiers bearing strange machines shows up, the villagers realize that in order to save their home, they must trust this strange outsider with the knowledge of Tai Chi.

Still not sure what to think?  Here's that trailer I mentioned:

And as if that weren't enough, here's one of the teaser posters, this one an exclusive right here on HitFix, and it's fairly self-explanatory:

I think it's a safe bet I'll be reviewing this one for you at some point during the festival, which kicks off later today.


A respected critic and commentator for fifteen years, Drew McWeeny helped create the online film community as "Moriarty" at Ain't It Cool News, and now proudly leads two budding Film Nerds in their ongoing movie education.