Last weekend we treated you to the first poster and pics for kung fu epic Man of Tai Chi. Today we’ve got the first trailer. The Mandarin-Cantonese-English production is the directorial debut of Keanu Reeves. It tracks the journey of a young martial artist (Tiger Hu Chen) who’s lured into an underground tournament run by an unsavoury chap (Reeves) dead set on corrupting him. Joining Chen and Reeves in front of the camera are Simon Yam (Ip Man), Karen Mok (Black Mask), and The Raid: Redemption star Iko Uwais. Former stunt man Chen first hooked up with Reeves while working on the Matrix series, as did the film’s action choreographer, the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping (also of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame). To sum up, this one’s boasting all kinds of ass-kicking cred, which will be on full display in a staggering 40 minutes of fight sequences.
As you’d expect, the trailer is jam-packed with kicking, punching, chopping and all-around carnage. Hit the jump to check it out.
Looks plenty stylish and kinetic. And I’ve got a soft spot for these kinds of battle royale flicks. However, it should be noted that this film first started turning heads last summer, when Reeves and company released a ‘proof of concept’ video, detailing how they planned to use an innovative dipping, ducking and diving camera rig to capture their fight scenes. Alas, as the director revealed to MTV News recently, due to cost and other concerns, they weren’t actually able to incorporate the rig (called the Bot & Dolly) into filming. Though they did their best to stage the action in similarly fluid, acrobatic fashion.
Said Reeves to MTV:
“It was tough. It was just too big and too much. We had to ship it to China. All sorts of practical consideration ran into the vision and the dream,” he said. “It certainly influenced the way that we went forward in terms of shooting some of the fight scenes in terms of the organicness and movement of how we shot some of the fight scenes. I just couldn’t go on top. [laughs] I couldn’t do an overhead shot with no cut into a close up.”
Kind of a shame. It would have been great to see what Collider’s own Dave Trumbore dubbed “cam-fu” in action for 40 minutes of hand-to-hand mayhem. Still, I’m looking forward to this one. Expect it to be released some time in 2013.