Hong Kong Cinema

Tai Chi 2

(Tai Chi Boxer)

  • Made: 1996
  • Format: DVD
  • Region: 2 PAL
  • Release Date: 17 June, 2002
  • Company: Hong Kong Legends
  • Length: 92 mins (approx)
  • Picture: Widescreen Anamorphic
  • Language: Dubbed and Subtitled
  • Extras: Chapters, Interviews, Trailers, Biography
  • Classification: 15


Cheung Yam Yim, Yuen Wo Ping


Jacky Wu Jing, Christy Chung Lai-Tai, Sibelle Hu , Mark Cheng Ho-Nam, Lau Shun, Billy Chow, Yue Hoi, Darren Shahlavi

Tai Chi 2 was supposed to be the sequel to Tai Chi Master, the splendid 90's hit starring Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh and Chin Siu Hoi. Sadly none of the cast returned for this film and instead the film was helmed by debutant Jacky Wu. After this Jacky was left very much in the wilderness until his second break came recently working with the likes of Sammo Hung (Legend of Zu) and Lau Kar Leung (Drunken Monkey). It seems that ultimately this young wushu star is destined for stardom, but this may be one film that will probably be seen as little more than a competent first attempt. The film took HK $742,000 during its cinematic release, making it the 85th highest grossing domestic film of 1996! The only reasons to get excited about this film are Yuen Woo Ping at the helm and the high kicking Billy Chow. After working on the Shaolin Temple series and Tai Chi Master with Jet Li, there is also role for Yue Hoi as Jacky's father. The other main role goes to the arch villain played by British martial artist Darren Shahlavi.


The plot needs little explanation other than Hok Man (Jacky Wu) being a mischievous and irresponsible student who is always evading the controlling hand of his father (to understand this relationship better please refer to any Jackie Chan film before 1982). The eye-catching Christy Cheung plays Hok Man's love interest, Yeung Wan. In case you had not already guessed, Yeung Wan's father disapproves (Lau Shun). Perhaps Hok Man could do something really heroic to prove he is worthy???? Cue the final fight scene… but not after some smuggling, political activists on roller-skates and Billy Chow trying to kick everyone.


The fighting in this movie is accomplished but certainly not breath-taking. You are always guaranteed a certain level of proficiency from Yuen Woo Ping. Indeed some of the scenes are executed in a very stylish manner, including Jacky Wu against Billy Chow is a leaf swept woodland. Yue Hoi also puts in a good performance but the fifteen years since Shaolin Temple are all too obvious on him. What is totally unacceptable about this movie, is not the mediocre arch villain (Shahlavi), nor the paper-thin plot and characters, but it is the end fight. I could probably write several books on everything that is wrong with his encounter. For a start Billy Chow just disappears halfway through?! To be honest it is a real shame that he was not given the lead bad guy role as that would have enhanced the end of the movie. My biggest gripe about the end sequence is that it is a complete rip-off of the warehouse sequence at the end of Once Upon a Time in China. And not only that, but it is a very bad rip-off. I don't know if Yuen Woo Ping was trying to get one over Tsui Hark but it certainly fell flat on its face.



Another superb Hong Kong Legends disc,including interviews, trailers, behind the scene footage. The anamorphic picture and sound are up to the high standards that can be expected.


Tai Chi 2 has some nice touches and some attempts at innovation, but there is not enough to make this an important or creditable film. Jacky Wu makes a lightweight lead, and we can only shudder at the thought of what this film would have been like without Yuen Woo Ping. I do question the logic behind trying to imitate one of the all time great martial arts sequences at the end. Having said all that, Yuen Woo Ping is a legend and every star is allowed a few stinkers during their career. The disc provided by Hong Kong Legend is another excellent offering, sadly the same cannot be said about the film.