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Ip Man (2008)
"Yip Man" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Biography, Drama  |  12 December 2008 (China)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 142,683 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 137 user | 102 critic | 9 from

A semi-biographical account of Yip Man, the successful martial arts master who taught the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun to the world.



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Credited cast:
Chow Ching-Chuen
Ka Tung Lam ...
Captain Lei Chiu
Jin Shan Zhao / Kam Shan-Chau
Cheung Wing-Sing
Hiroyuki Ikeuchi ...
Tenma Shibuya ...
Colonel Sato
Xing Yu ...
Master Zealot Lam
Zhi-Hui Chen ...
Master Liu
You-Nam Wong ...
Sa Dam Yun
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Zhang Bo ...
Jin Shan Zhao's underling
Rong-Jun Cai ...
Cotton Mill Worker
Li Chak ...
Yip Chun (as Li Ze)
Siu-Kwan Chan ...
Calvin Ka-Sing Cheng ...
Chow Kong-Yiu


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


In the last great war one man defied an empire... 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  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The idea of an Ip Man biopic originated in 1998 when Jeffrey Lau and Corey Yuen discussed the idea of making a film based on Bruce Lee's martial arts master. However, Paragon Films Ltd, the studio producing the proposed film, closed and the project was abandoned. Producer Bak-Ming Wong decided to develop his own Ip Man film with full consent from Ip's sons, and had filmmakers head to Foshan to research Ip's life. Ip Chun, Ip Man's eldest son, along with martial arts master Leo Au-yeung and several other Wing Chun practitioners served as technical consultants for the film. See more »


In the bedroom, when Yip Man is reading, there is a modern lamp made of matte metal. See more »


Ip Man: [Facing the Northerner Ip Man adopts his combat stance with an unsettling mixture of mettle and serenity] Wing Chun, Ip Man.
See more »


Featured in Films of Fury: The Kung Fu Movie Movie (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!

146 of 162 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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