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Yip Man
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Ip Man (2008) More at IMDbPro »Yip Man (original title)

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Ip Man -- Behind every great martial artist lies a teacher. 
Ip Man, starring Donnie Yen, is the award-winning film adaptation about the life story of Ip Man, grandmaster of Wing Chun and mentor to legendary kung fu superstar Bruce Lee. 

Set in Fo Shan, China during the Sino-Japanese War, Ip Man vividly brings to life the brutality of the infamous Japanese occupation, where once proud men are forced to fight to the death for a precious bag of rice. Defined by courage and humility, Ip Man, whose fighting skills are revered all over China, rises to the fore front.
Upon refusing to teach his martial arts to the invading Japanese soldiers, he is forced to fight for the honor of his country in a series of battles that will culminate in a kill-or-be-killed showdown with Japan’s greatest fighter.
Ip Man -- Plenty of martial arts action in this trailer for the period drama

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   109,045 votes »
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Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Edmond Wong (screenplay) and
Chan Tai-Li
Contact:
View company contact information for Ip Man on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 December 2008 (China) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The celebrated Kung Fu master of Bruce Lee See more »
Plot:
A semi-biographical account of Yip Man, the first martial arts master to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
12 wins & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"Wing Chun, Ip Man."-- Donnie Yen. See more (131 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Donnie Yen ... Yip Man

Simon Yam ... Chow Ching-Chuen
Ka Tung Lam ... Captain Lei Chiu

Siu-Wong Fan ... Jin Shan Zhao / Kam Shan-Chau

Lynn Hung ... Cheung Wing-Sing
Hiroyuki Ikeuchi ... Miura
Tenma Shibuya ... Colonel Sato
Yu Xing ... Master Zealot Lam
Chen Zhi Hui ... Master Liu
You-Nam Wong ... Sa Dam Yun
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Zhang Bo ... Jin Shan Zhao's underling
Li Chak ... Yip Chun (as Li Ze)
Siu-Kwan Chan ... Waiter
Xu Chuan-Jian ... Cotton Mill Worker
Shi De-Qiang ... Southern master
Yu-Lam Fan ... Cotton Mill Worker
Wang Hui-Liang ... Cotton Mill Worker
Liu Jun ... Cotton Mill Worker
Chen Ka-Da ... Uncle Wong
Calvin Cheng Ka-Sing ... Chow Kong-Yiu
Lu Kai ... Jin Shan Zhao's underling
Kong Kam ... Jin Shan Zhao's underling (as Kong King)
Siu-Hung Leung ... Green Dragon Club Master
Ming Zhe Liu ... Righteous Club Master
Li Qin Long ... Master Lei
Lu Mei-Fang ... Cotton Mill Worker
Han Meng-Xin ... Lei Chiu's daughter
Xu Ming-Yu ... Cotton Mill Worker
Sheng Qi-Rong ... Lei Chiu's father
Cai Rong-Jun ... Cotton Mill Worker
Shi Rui-Jun ... Cotton Mill Worker
Yu-Hang To ... Hu Wei
Mao Wen-Jun ... Jin Shan Zhao's underling
Wang Xiao-Fang ... Yip Man's maid
Yang Xu-Feng ... Cotton Mill Worker
Ding Yi-Lan ... Cotton Mill Worker
Ku Yin ... Cotton Mill Worker
Gao Yuan ... Cotton Mill Worker
Bian Zheng ... Cotton Mill Worker
Wang Zheng ... Cotton Mill Worker
Zhong Zhou ... Master Ho
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Directed by
Wilson Yip 
 
Writing credits
Edmond Wong (screenplay)

Chan Tai-Li 

Produced by
Kwok Lam Sin .... executive producer
Bak-Ming Wong .... executive producer
Bak-Ming Wong .... producer
Baoquan Zhang .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Kenji Kawai 
 
Cinematography by
Sing-Pui O (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ka-Fai Cheung 
 
Art Direction by
Kenneth Mak 
 
Costume Design by
Pik Kwan Lee 
 
Makeup Department
Maggie Choy .... makeup artist
Samuel Wong .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Cheuk Kau Man .... assistant production manager
Yuk-Lam Pang .... production manager
Eddie Wong .... assistant production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Po Chun Chan .... first assistant director
Ka-Wai Kam .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Wai Kin Lam .... property master
Wai Yan Wong .... set designer
Hsi-jen Yang .... props crew
 
Sound Department
Wing Lai Chin .... sound recordist
Terry Shek .... sound effects editor
Kinson Tsang .... sound
George Lee Yiu-Keung .... sound editor
George Lee Yiu-Keung .... sound
 
Visual Effects by
Ralph Chun Ho Poon .... visual effects artist
Henri Wong .... visual effects supervisor
 
Stunts
Leo Au-Yeung .... fight instructor
Ip Chun .... fight consultant
Sammo Hung Kam-Bo .... action director
Chi Kit Lee .... action choreographer
Siu-Hung Leung .... action choreographer
Ke Ming Lin .... action choreographer
Donnie Yen .... action choreographer (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Siu-Kwan Chan .... grip
Yuk-chuen Cheung .... gaffer
 
Other crew
Wai Kei Cheng .... script supervisor
Ip Chun .... advisor and consultant
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Yip Man" - Hong Kong (original title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for violence
Runtime:
106 min
Country:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Although it's the first film centering around Yip Man, the idea of doing a Yip Man biopic have been conceived for as long as 30 years. Donnie Yen was actually slated to play Yip Man in the supposed first biopic that was about to go into production in 1997. The film would've also featured Stephen Chow playing an adult Bruce Lee. However, only one day of shooting took place before the project was canceled.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Quotes:
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 »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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106 out of 124 people found the following review useful.
"Wing Chun, Ip Man."-- Donnie Yen., 18 December 2008
Author: dont_b_so_BBC from The Far East

No wonder Ip Chun (Ip Man's son, consultant to this movie) was so pleased-- from the twinkle in his eyes to the lifting of his feet, Donnie Yen inhabits this movie like he is possessed by Ip Man. And as Ip Man himself explains early in the movie: "the key is the person."

Revolving around the central (true) event of Ip Man rejecting the Japanese's "request" to train their soldiers when they occupied China and eventually sparring with them, this is essentially a genre movie built around the martial arts set-piece (Wing Chun vs Karate, see the trailer) "exploding" mid-way through.

And what a movie they have built up around their central show-piece! Taking on the common martial arts/Kung Fu Movie theme of "what can one martial artist do against a turbulent world/time?" (one of the movie's promotional tag-lines), the story "hook" is not whether Ip Man will win-- but rather when he will be forced to fight and what would happen when he does. And the notable level of acting, scripting, production, etc. --highlighting not only Ip Man but also the plight of his family, friends and townsmen-- really ramps up the drama and "heart" for audiences who might not care for the genre. One evidence for this is how "Ip Man" garnered 12 nominations for the 2009 HK Film Awards in both the acting/directing and technical categories-- though it really stands out as a killer Kung-Fu Film, and consequently won for Best Action Director and Best Film.

In short, "Ip Man" is quite a good ("mainstream") movie-- but a great martial arts/Kung Fu (not "action", as Donnie Yen points out during interviews) movie. And some telling numbers explain why:

There are around 12 fights or so (depending on how you count them) evenly spaced throughout the film, with Donnie Yen in almost half of them-- with 3 or so weapon fights (not counting guns) and 5 or so group fights (anything with more than 2 people)-- which is why this is a martial arts movie, and not an "action" movie (no explosions, chases, shoot-outs, etc.). The shortest fight takes about 10 seconds and his longest runs around 2 minutes-- which gels with Donnie Yen's belief that real people fight to win and don't "pose, talk, fight, run, and... pose, talk, fight, run and...". Together with the miscellaneous violence (guns, etc.), the audience is virtually given an "adrenaline shot" every 5 minutes or so to give audiences something to laugh, cry or even cheer about.

Of course, it also inspired in me a new-found respect for Wing Chun (Ip Man's school of martial arts)-- as well as action director Sammo Hung's "tight" choreography and camera-work (in China/HK, action directors control the camera as well as direct the actors). The close-to-mid range shots make it easier to "catch" the stunt doubles... but just like everything else in the movie-- blink and you'll miss it!

For much like Wing Chun, everything in this movie get to the point quickly-- so that at over 100 minutes, the movie feels much too short.... But thank you, Wilson Yip (the director), for respecting the audience and not belaboring the "message"-- for a movie that is basically a war/ nationalist melodrama, it manages to unfold as elegantly as Ip Man's character (& Donnie Yen's acting).

But for those who care about the "downside": this movie is only loosely "based on" Ip Man's life-- in that the earlier parts is a dramatization of various accounts, the middle section is highly exaggerated (1-to-1 vs many-to-1 sparring), and the end is completely fictional (read: lead to an end-fight). And as a "World War II side-story" about a simple people in a small place (Foshan, China), there are only a few lines of text and transitional scenes depicting the Japanese invasion/occupation of Foshan (the director didn't have the budget to show how Foshan lost 3/4 of its population)-- though it manages to be quite effective, especially for those already familiar with the history. But those craving more creativity, complexity or completeness in this movie will be disappointed-- especially by the rather haphazard way the movie "wraps up" Ip Man's life at the end (when it wasn't certain whether/how a sequel would be made).

Whatever the quibble, "Ip Man" heralds a break-though in realism for "grounded" martial arts/ Wushu movies; the way "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" heralded a break-through in surrealism for "floating" martial arts/Wuxia movies. It is clearly made for fans of Wing Chun and Kung Fu Movies-- and it makes no apologies for that (thank goodness for no "foreign" investors-- though it means that this movie is unlikely to get foreign distribution).

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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
'IN 1945 china finally won the war...' spaxspore
Ip Man or Fearless? Ruxendil_Thoorg
Disturbing values lyypekki
Chinese dubbing during the first part of the film... break-stoof
over-rated by a mile a_hat_trick
Had a couple problems gbc001-103-931128
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