Ip ManDecember 12, 2008
A semi-biographical account of Yip Man, the first martial arts master to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun.
Release Year: 2008
Rating: 8.1/10 (40,932 voted)
Critic's Score: 59/100
Stars: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan
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.
Zhou Qing Quan
Jin Shan Zhao
Ka Tung Lam
Master Zealot Lin
Shao Dan Yuan
Chen Zhi Hui
Zhang Yong Cheng
Calvin Cheng Ka-Sing
The celebrated Kung Fu master of Bruce Lee
Release Date: 12 December 2008
Opening Weekend: PHP 1,928,370
(17 May 2009)
Gross: PHP 2,430,993
(24 May 2009)
After Ip Man's fight against the 10 Japanese Karate, his hands are bruised and then tended to by his Wife. The damaged knuckles are the index and middle fingers, yet in wing chun you are taught to punch with the bottom two (mainly bottom one) knuckles in an upward, snapping motion. Lin Wan Kuen or wing chun boxing repeats this motion, "chain-punching", as you can clearly see in the fight, and the close ups also reveal the correct punching technique but later show the wrong damaged knuckles.
[after witnessing Ip Man single-handedly defeat ten Japanese fighters at once]
What's your name?
I'm just a Chinese man.
Powerhouse performance by Donnie Yen
Donnie Yen is a long time favorite of mine, although this is mainly due
to his martial arts skills and screen presence rather than his acting
skills. In Ip Man (or Ye Wen, as they were shouting in the seats next
to mine) he delivers a truly solid performance on the acting side,
carrying the burden of a nation on his shoulders with gravitas, at
least that's what he conveyed to the audience at the cinema. They were
actually applauding at times. Then again, moviegoers might be more
absorbed over here on a regular basis. I digress.
I'm not going to delve deeper into plot details. The basic stuff is
already outlined above, and I also feel the historical accuracy of
certain events depicted can be debated. That's a bit of a moot point,
though, since most people will watch this for the action scenes. Nobody
will be disappointed. Donnie kicks twelve kinds of ass in this movie,
and it is all accompanied by some of the meanest sound design I've ever
heard. Every one of his rapid punches can be felt as he pummels the
poor bastards in his way with the Ip Man-style of martial arts (imdb
won't let me spell out the name for some reason). The final bout is
epic,but for me it was one scene about halfway through that got my
heart beating faster. It involves Donnie, ten Japanese karate
practitioners and some of the most furious fighting I've ever seen on
screen. You can really sense the anger of his character in this scene.
The film moves forward at a brisk pace and contains a surprisingly
large amount of fight scenes. It totally lacks the vintage
over-the-top-aesthetics of Donnie Yen's films of the 80's and 90's, but
for some people that's a good thing. I personally think this is his
finest performance to date.
Highly recommended for fans of martial arts cinema!