Jack Ma's martial arts short film gets split reviews on social media

Some netizens commended Gong Shou Dao for championing martial arts, while others were critical as they questioned the intentions behind the film. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK

Jack Ma does not just know how to make money. He also knows how to make his martial arts opponents cower in fear.

The movie Gong Shou Dao, or The Art of Attack and Defence in English, features the 53-year-old Alibaba founder as the main character, a taiji master.

Released over the weekend, the 20-minute film also stars martial arts stars Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung, champion boxer Zou Shiming, Thai actor Tony Jaa and retired Mongolian sumo champion Asashoryu Akinori.

It follows Ma's character as he travels and squares off with different martial arts exponents, each with different fighting styles.

Li is the executive producer of the film. On Saturday (Nov 11), he posted a trailer that racked up over 7 million views, before following up with the full film on his Facebook page the next day. "This is the story of my good friend Jack Ma as a Taiji Master," Li wrote. "I hope all of you will like it."

There were mixed reactions from netizens over the film.

Some commended it for championing martial arts, while others were critical as they questioned the intentions behind it.

Facebook user Oskar Weinreich praised the effort in promoting Chinese philosophy and martial arts and called it a "super advertisement" for the cause.

"The only way anyone is getting deep into the meaning of martial arts is to practice it for a long time with a very open mindset to learn anything it throws at you."

Meanwhile, others were not impressed, with user Stella Hong Zhang saying she was "utterly disappointed".

She felt that with Jack Ma playing the lead character, it sent a message that "you can be an amateur and still beat all the kung fu masters", so there is no point in putting in so much hard work to become a real master.

"None of you real Kung Fu masters dared to say to Jack Ma that he didn't deserve to be the hero in a film about martial arts?"

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