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Wing Chun, a woman living in a remote village often pillaged by robbers. When Wing Chun finally loses her cool and defeats them, her heroic actions stir up even more trouble in this male-based society of the time. The climactic battle to the death is a dazzler.Written by
Towne 3, San Jose, Ca
I rented "Wing Chun" on VHS several years ago, after watching "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." I was impressed with Michelle Yeoh and the whole wuxia/martial arts fantasy genre. I'm glad I did because this is one of my favorites.
In addition to Michelle Yeoh (who plays the Wing Chun character), the movie stars Donnie Yen ("Iron Monkey"; "Hero") as well as Waise Lee, Norman Chu, King-Tan Yuen, and Catherine Hung Yan. Pei-pei Chang has a cameo.
The story is light and comic. Much of the plot will seem familiar to those who have seen a number of Shakespearian comedies--girl dressed as guy, mistaken identities, love triangles, suiters sneaking in and out of bedrooms just in the nick of time, plays on words, sexual innuendo, etc. You've even got a den of thieves with comically bumbling ne'er-do-wells.
The "plot" as it were is an excuse to hold the story together for the fight scenes. The martial arts in the movie are not brutal death-matches, but of the spin-through-the-air, prop-using, wonderfully choreographed, skilled ballets that are indicative of the film's action choreographer Woo-ping Yuen (who also choreographed "The Matrix," "Crouching Tiger," "Kill Bill," and many more). Donnie Yen contributed a lot to the choreogrpahy and action directing also.
And what great fight scenes they are! There are at least 8 or 9, so you certainly get your money's worth. They are so much fun to watch. Michelle is simply wonderful, especially in the last third of the movie when she stops dressing in men's clothes and goes into cute and perky mode.
Perhaps the most famous scene from the film is one where one of the local bandits has come to challenge Wing Chun in her place of business (a tofu store). No problem, says Wing Chun. All you have to do is smash this pan of tofu sitting on the table and you will be the winner.
How hard could that be, right? Well, it's damn nigh impossible when what prevents you from putting your fist into a plate of tofu is Michelle Yeoh and all her skills. An amazingly choreographed scene that brings big smiles all around. Michelle's facial expressions are priceless as she goads the hapless bandit into just "one more try" before slamming him back to the ground yet again.
Anyone remotely interested in martial arts romantic comedies should rush to pick this film up.
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