Keanu Reeves is unquestionably one of the modern era’s greatest action stars, which is stating the obvious when you consider the four times he’s played Neo in The Matrix franchise, his three (and counting) outings as John Wick, alongside the likes of Point Break and Speed.
In an unusual twist of fate, his most underrated ass-kicker also served as his feature-length directorial debut (and so far sole outing behind the camera), but Man of Tai Chi bombed at the box office despite solid reviews from critics. Despite a 71% score on Rotten Tomatoes, the old school martial arts flick could only cobble together less than $6 million at the box office on a $25 million budget.
As you’d expect from someone with so much experience in cinematic hand-to-hand combat, Reeves does an impressive job capturing the hard-hitting battles that define a fairly standard tournament-based story that could have been ripped right out of the 1970s, while he also gives an understated-yet-effective performance as Donaka Mark, which also marks a rare foray into villainous territory.
It might have been swept under the rag in the nine years since it first released, but Man of Tai Chi has been throwing down on the Netflix charts this week. As per FlixPatrol, the sorely underseen and underrated effort has landed Top 10 finishes in multiple countries, so don’t rule it out from flying even higher over the next couple of days.
Man of Tai Chi isn’t a glitzy or glamorous blockbuster by any stretch, but it’s worth seeking out if you’re a fan of the leading man’s career.