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Ip Man (2008)

Yip Man (original title)
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During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense.



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Top Rated Movies #238 | 12 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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In postwar Hong Kong, legendary Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man is reluctantly called into action once more, when what begin as simple challenges from rival kung fu styles soon draw him into ... See full summary »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cheung (as Xiong Dai Lin)
Li (as Lam Ka Tung)
Jin (as Fan Sui Wong)
You-Nam Wong ...
Yuan (as Wong You Nam)
Yu-Hang To ...
Wei (as To Yue Hong)
Calvin Ka-Sing Cheng ...
Yao (as Calvin Cheng)
Zhi-Hui Chen ...
Master Liu (as Chen Zhi Hui)
Tenma Shibuya ...
Sato (as Shibuya Tenma)
Li Chak ...
Zhun (as Li Ze)
Shi De-Qiang ...
Southern Master (as Shi De Qiang)
Zhong Zhou ...
Southern Master


In 1935 in Foshan, south China, there are martial arts schools on every street corner. Ip Man is the undisputed martial arts champion, yet he has not devoted himself to teaching. Despite this, it seems that all the kung fu masters of the city are eager to fight him to improve their reputation. Written by Riccardo Amadori

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Mentor of iconic legend Bruce Lee See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

12 December 2008 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Ip Man  »

Box Office


$11,715,578 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Like mentioned in the movie Ip Man's fighting style is Wing Chun. It is said to be created by two women: Ng Mui and Yim Wing Chun. According to legend, a warlord wanted to marry Yim Wing Chun but she refused. Instead challenged him to a duel. She came across Ng Mui, a Buddhist nun whom she asked for help. Together they created the art of Wing Chun which the nun named after Yim Wing Chun. Wing Chun won the fight. See more »


The first duel between Ip Man and Jin takes place in Ip Man's home. When Jin pulls out his sword, Ip Man reaches for what looks like a feather duster (a bamboo rod with chicken feathers). When their weapons clash, the sound is of metal-on-metal, despite the fact that Ip Man is not fighting with a metal weapon. See more »


Ip Man: [hits Lei] Traitor!
Captain Lei Chiu: Why am I a traitor? Their deaths have got nothing to do with me. I'm just an interpreter. I need to scrape a living too!
Ip Man: Scrape a living? You watch your countrymen get beaten to death. Where's your dignity?
[walks away]
Captain Lei Chiu: I don't have any. You do. You have lots of it. If you have the guts, go beat them! Beat as many as you can! I'm an interpreter, not a traitor...
[throws book to the ground and shouts in Japanese]
Captain Lei Chiu: I'm a Chinese man!
See more »


Spoofed in All's Well, Ends Well 2011 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Powerhouse performance by Donnie Yen
14 December 2008 | by (Beijing, China) – See all my reviews

Donnie Yen is a long time favorite of mine, although this is mainly due to his martial arts skills and screen presence rather than his acting skills. In Ip Man (or Ye Wen, as they were shouting in the seats next to mine) he delivers a truly solid performance on the acting side, carrying the burden of a nation on his shoulders with gravitas, at least that's what he conveyed to the audience at the cinema. They were actually applauding at times. Then again, moviegoers might be more absorbed over here on a regular basis. I digress.

I'm not going to delve deeper into plot details. The basic stuff is already outlined above, and I also feel the historical accuracy of certain events depicted can be debated. That's a bit of a moot point, though, since most people will watch this for the action scenes. Nobody will be disappointed. Donnie kicks twelve kinds of ass in this movie, and it is all accompanied by some of the meanest sound design I've ever heard. Every one of his rapid punches can be felt as he pummels the poor bastards in his way with the Ip Man-style of martial arts (imdb won't let me spell out the name for some reason). The final bout is epic,but for me it was one scene about halfway through that got my heart beating faster. It involves Donnie, ten Japanese karate practitioners and some of the most furious fighting I've ever seen on screen. You can really sense the anger of his character in this scene. Great stuff.

The film moves forward at a brisk pace and contains a surprisingly large amount of fight scenes. It totally lacks the vintage over-the-top-aesthetics of Donnie Yen's films of the 80's and 90's, but for some people that's a good thing. I personally think this is his finest performance to date.

Highly recommended for fans of martial arts cinema!

150 of 166 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Deeply disappointing cmertes-1
Why is this on the top 250 when Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon isn't? jimmyr5595
over-rated by a mile a_hat_trick
'IN 1945 china finally won the war...' spaxspore
Ip Man or Fearless? Ruxendil_Thoorg
What martial art did the Japanese general practice? oswaldo7777
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