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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 147,018 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 140 user | 102 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

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:
Rong-Jun Cai ...
Cotton Mill Worker
Li Chak ...
Yip Chun (as Li Ze)
Siu-Kwan Chan ...
Calvin Ka-Sing Cheng ...
Chow Kong-Yiu
Shi De-Qiang ...
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


The celebrated Kung Fu master of Bruce Lee See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






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Release Date:

12 December 2008 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Ip Man  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Andy On was offered a major role in the film but had to decline due to schedule conflicts. See more »


When Ip Man gives Yuan the box that his dead brother cherished and walks away (towards the camera), near the end of the shot, Yuan is seen to open the box. On the next cut-scene, the box is closed and he is seen to open it again. See more »


Miura: [after witnessing Ip Man single-handedly defeat ten Japanese fighters at once] What's your name?
Ip Man: I'm just a Chinese man.
See more »


Featured in Films of Fury: The Kung Fu Movie Movie (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best martial art films of this decade
10 January 2009 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

Excellent direction, photography and set design enliven this account of Wing Chun instructor Yip Man's life before he moved to Hong Kong. Every Wing Chun instructor today tries to make a lineage connection to Yip Man to legitimize their teaching so he is a very important figure in Kung Fu. Donnie Yen portrays the master with intense reserve and is possibly the best acting in his career. It surprised me for sure.

The story line of this film is invented as historical accounts show Yip Man to have been a police officer in the time frame this film covers, not staying at home and only practicing kung fu as depicted here. Also the film claims that he refused to teach anybody but that is also not true. He left for Hong Kong a few years after WW2 not in the middle of it as this film presents. The plot with the Japanese army seems invented although they did ask him to teach the troops which he refused.

However the film muddies up the historical record, that is not to say it isn't a great film. Sammo Hung's choreography is exceptional and a throwback to his great kung fu films of the early 1980's. The martial arts are done with great respect to traditional styles although some wire work is used to assist the actors with the difficult acrobatic moves. No flying across the room in this film.

Although the ending is a little abrupt, this is one kung fu film that can be recommended to people who don't like these films. Highly recommended.

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