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,
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
Filming first took place in a storeroom in the industrial district of Shanghai. Having difficulties scouting a cotton factory suitable for shooting, set designers decided to recreate one in the style of the 1930s. They spent weeks transforming an abandoned storeroom into the Zhen Hua Cotton Mill Factory, a 1930s cotton mill factory founded by Ip's friend Chow Ching-chuen (played in the film by Simon Yam) during the Sino-Japanese War. It was where Ip Man first taught Wing Chun openly to the public. See more »
At the end of Ip Man's duel with Master Liao, Ip is shown to be flipping Liao to the ground at a position very close to the door. As soon as Liao is on the ground, the next shot shows both fighters having moved several feet away from the door when no such horizontal movement was made. 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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