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.
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 »
Anthony Chau-Sang Wong,
Two friends are searching for their long lost companion. They revisit their college days and recall the memories of their friend who inspired them to think differently, even as the rest of the world called them "idiots".
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
Principal photography for Ip Man began in March 2008 and ended in August; filming took place in Shanghai, which was used to architecturally recreate Foshan. During filming, conflicts arose between the producers of Ip Man and filmmaker Kar-Wai Wong over the film's working title. Wong, who had been developing his own Ip Man biopic, clashed with the producers after learning that their film would be titled Grandmaster Ip Man, which was too similar to the title of the other film. The producers of Ip Man agreed to change the film title, despite Wong's film being in development hell. Kar-wai's film, titled The Grandmaster (2013), was released on 10 January 2013. See more »
Although the movie takes place in the 1930s, in the factory showdown with Ip Man, Jin Shanzhao is shown wearing modern-day jungle boots of the sort worn by today's soldiers, especially visible when Ip Man slams his foot with his long staff. See more »
[Facing the Northerner Ip Man adopts his combat stance with an unsettling mixture of mettle and serenity]
Wing Chun, Ip Man.
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This is Donnie Yen's best acting piece for awhile now, and he still delivers the action sequences brilliantly. At 44 years of age, he looks so energetic, confident and charismatic. I believe the combination of Yen, Sammo Hung and Wilson Yip is the right choice for this particular film and fighting style. Wing Chun is best depicted without the flamboyant ballet of acrobatics often seen in other wushu films.
The movie doesn't dwell on historical accuracy, but rather use that settings to set the mood, deliver the message and simply tells you the life journey of a Grandmaster in an fun and entertaining way.
I remember that Richard Attenborough said (regarding Gandhi) that there was no way a director/movie maker could encompass and depict a person's life journey in only a 2 or 3-hour movie. But rather one should aim to emulate the spirit of that person, and the message/lesson of his story. I think this movie does that, with a quality production that raised the bar for period drama.
My rating is missing 1 point because I feel that there were plot devices that had been done-to-death before in other movies like: Fists of Fury, Fearless, Kill Bill, etc. However, Yip Man simply turns the notch to a higher sound-beating level.
Don't miss this on the big screen!
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