I enjoyed this movie on many levels, it is far from being perfect but Keanu Reeves should be proud of his first attempt behind the camera, if he had stayed behind the camera I think he might have created something special, I am sure the reason he didn’t was to cash in on all of those Matrix fans dying to see him perform some martial arts, well if they do, I think they will be disappointed.
I like Keanu the actor, when he is playing a simple-minded or goofy character he seems ever so convincing, in this film he plays a bad character, full of mystery and…. badness, each word he delivers is very slow-paced and monotone, he gets away with it for the first 1/3 of the film, but as the film continues you start to wonder if his character suffers from some mental condition, I then changed my diagnosis half way through and presumed he was in fact playing a robot covered in skin, I waited for the reveal at the end when I presumed an eye-ball may need picking out, or he may start playing with his ripped open arm in front of a sink, but this moment never arrived, sadly the only thing that did arrive was my conclusion that Keanu is a very lucky boy, to star is so many smash movies but not have any range or true acting ability, he portrays anger like my two-year old son express’ the signal, which means his nappy is full.
Back to the plot and this is the positive bit, I have seen most of the iconic martial art movies of yesteryear and they normally tow the same mundane line, with this film they break some new ground, to start with they explore Tai chi, secondly they actually have an original story to tell, no revenge mission for a lost brother or dad, nope this is all about an intriguing story matched with some excellent fight scenes, that is until Keanu dusts off his kicking boots and starts fighting like a pub drunk who has just wolfed down several kabab’s, luckily his fight scenes last five minutes so they don’t ruin what goes before it.
Worthy of a watch, I hope Keanu makes some more, just remember to stay behind the camera next time unless there is a part for a surfer dude or a I.T hacker.