Steampunk Hands 2016 – Tai Chi Zero

I’m not much of a city person. All the activity, crowds, and close spaces get on my nerves. I much prefer the quietness and relaxed atmosphere of more rural and natural environments. Something needs to be especially necessary or enticing to draw me into good sized cities.


One such enticement was a limited showing of the Chinese steampunk movie, Tai Chi Zero. While it had several nominations at a few film festivals, I was already engaged by the word steampunk.

In a nutshell, around 1900 during the Bozer Rebellion, Yang Lu Chan seeks to learn a secret powerful form of Tai Chi, while the village black sheep, Fang Zi Jing returns home to avenge prior treatment with a monstrously amazing railroad building machine. Change is coming to Chen Village and not everyone wants to accept nor adapt.


Some viewers may find the format disconcerting as real life names and information are called out on screen about some of the actors, or when the action is presented like a video game. The story is still quite engaging, alternately sweet, with innocent and pure goals, and challengingly adult as some endeavor to do the right thing.

Protection vs revenge. Loves lost and unwittingly found. Tradition vs nouveau. In all of it, that railroad machine is a gorgeous work of steampunk design.


If you like martial arts movies, or want to see a Chinese take on the steampunk aesthetic, make time to watch the movie, and its sequel, Tai Chi Hero, and enjoy the sub-titles, the artistic designs, and the sheer fun of the movie.

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Published in: on February 7, 2016 at 7:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] Airship Ambassador – Steampunk Hands 2016 – Tai Chi Zero […]

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