I am not by any means a Keanu Reeves fan (of his acting, anyway - he's a decent guy in real life). I am, however, a huge fan of martial arts movies and actors playing against type. With Reeves not only playing the villain but also making his directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi definitely got my attention. However, I wasn't expecting to like this movie as much as I did.
Tiger Chen (yes, his character's name is the same as his professional name) is a mainland Chinese courier who lives with his parents and has a crush on a lovely young paralegal named Qing Sha (Ye Qing). Tiger is also the sole student of tai chi master Yang (Yu Hai). However, Tiger has trouble reining in his aggression, and he frequently talks about demonstrating how powerful of a fighting style tai chi can actually be. Yang cautions him to focus more on the spiritual side of tai chi rather than its combative power - for his own sake. To further hone his skills, Tiger competes in local wulin tournaments, which are televised on local channels. This brings him to the attention of Donaka Mark (Keanu Reeves), the head of a Hong Kong security film and mastermind of an underground fight ring. Donaka offers Tiger a job interview, which basically consists of him defending himself from a spontaneous attack.