Directed by Wilson Yip
Starring: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan
This 2008 film is loosely based on the life of Yip Man, a Wing Chin master and mentor to Bruce Lee. The movie was directed by Wilson Yip who has been nominated for multiple awards by the Hong Kong Film Awards. The stars include Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, and Siu-Wong Fan. Donnie Yen might be best known to Western audiences for his roles in Blade II and Hero.
Ip Man is the story of a Wing Chun master living in China in the early 1930’s during the Japanese invasion. Despite being the most skilled master in the city of Foshan, Ip Man has chosen to avoid the competition of the local school masters. When the Japanese military come to the city they bring the hardships of war with them. A young general also arrives with a lust for Kung Fu and all martial arts. When he starts holding fights between his soldiers and the masters of the city Ip Man refuses to join. As he struggles to stay away from the violence, Ip Man is pulled in as his home and family are threatened. Those around him hope he might make a stand against their oppressors.
This was a surprising and exciting film to see. Having little experience with Asian cinema this was a good start for me.I do love foreign films so the addition of subtitles was easy to adapt to.
From the acting to the action the movie was great to watch. Not being familiar with the actors I was still pleased to see great performances from everyone in the film. The action sequences were also amazing. I love a good fight scene and this movie did not disappoint. It also avoided being too over-the-top which I had expected it to be.
This movie is very loosely based on the life of Yip Man, someone I knew only in connection with Bruce Lee. The fictional aspects of the movie are very entertaining despite straying from the facts. The film was full of action and meaningful dialogue which work well together throughout the story. I give this movie 4.1 out of 5 stars.