Breaking the mould by appearing as a villain (and giving us a charismatic performance) Keanu Reeves' Donaka is without a doubt the most interesting thing about Man of Tai Chi. The figurehead of a tournament reminiscent of a more realistic Mortal Kombat, he's as ruthless as he is deadly. The main theme of the film is corruption as Donaka coerces the initially reluctant Tiger Chen Linhu to enter his deadly game as a contestant. Tiger finds himself enticed by the money and gradually becomes a more brutal combatant, resulting in him becoming alienated from his roots. It is eventually revealed that Donaka's syndicate had been watching Tiger long before his entry into the tournament and their end goal is to turn him into a killer.
By then though he is working with the Hong Kong police and refuses to fight the opponent intended to be his first victim. He is redeemed somewhat and it seems that Donaka's goal to fully corrupt him has failed. This would have been a triumph of good over evil if not for the final confrontation. Having escaped the police, Donaka tracks down Tiger and challenges him to one on one combat. Predictably Tiger emerges victorious but does he do so by walking the path of the virtuous and sparing Donaka? Of course not; he fulfils the villain's scheme by becoming a killer.