|Wilson Yip Director||previously directed Flash Point|
A semi-biographical account of Yip Man, the first martial arts master to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun.
Ip Man did not fully taught Bruce Lee Wing Chun to Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee only learn half of the martial art before going to American and supplement the rest with his own version to create a new martial art call Jeet Kune Do1 More Trivia
|Edmond Kato Wong|
|Donnie Yen||Ip Man|
|Simon Yam Tat-Wah||Zhou Qing Quan|
|Siu-Wong Fan||Jin Shan Zhao|
|Gordon Lam||Li Zhao|
|Yu Xing||Master Zealot Lin|
|You-Nam Wong||Shao Dan Yuan|
|Chen Zhi Hui||Master Liao|
|Lynn Hung||Zhang Yong Cheng|
|Hiroyuki Ikeuchi||General Miura|
|Yu-Hang To||Hu Wei|
|See Full Credits|
A Hong Kong film that tells the a semi-biographical story about Ip Man, a grandmaster of Wing Chun. It shows Ip Man and his family living life in Foshan in China both before and during the invasion by the Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Starring Donnie Yen as Ip and directed by Wilson Yip the film is praised for its amazing martial arts presentation but also lampooned for its presentation of the facts surrounding Ip Man's life.
In 1998 the idea for a film based on the teacher of Bruce Lee, Ip Man, was tossed around by Chinese producer/directors Jeffrey Lau and Corey Yuen. The two were able to get actor Donnie Yen to sign on as well as Stephen Chow to play Bruce Lee. Eventually the film was to not be produced and was halted altogether before another producer, Raymond Wong, picked up the idea in 2007 and got Ip Man's sons to approve of the project before beginning development. This new film would retain Yen as Ip Man and use Chow as another character.
Foshan is a town focused on the practice and teaching of China's many variety of martial arts for all of southern China. Many martial art schools are run there where students from all over come to train and learn from the many masters that live in Foshan. One man, Ip Man, is one of those masters but doesn't run his own school. He spends his days in his own mansion with his wife and son as well as keeping up on his own training and teaching some of the students from the other schools a lesson here and there.
Despite some upset moments from his wife, who thinks Ip spends too much time on his martial arts and not enough with his family, Ip takes on anyone who would like a private lesson, even masters. One day a fellow master comes to train with Ip hoping to further his own understanding of his skills. Ip easily defeats the master using Wing Chun, a passive aggressive form of martial arts. The lesson intended to be a private one between two masters but when a local boy spots Ip easily beating the master, word quickly gets out.
Ip Man is able to defuse the situation rather gracefully even convincing the local law not to intervene in the matter when a crowd gathers. Foshan's notoriety as a beacon of martial arts isn't always a good thing either, a band of northern martial artists arrive in town and begin challenging every master of every school they can find. Jin Shanzhao slowly makes his way through executing on incredible skills hoping to one day open up his own school in Foshan based solely on his reputation built up by beating all of Foshan's masters. Even after a day of fighting a local noodle salesman informs Jin he hasn't beaten the best, that Ip Man is the one to beat.
Jin's ego gets the best of him and quickly he storms off to Ip's mansion forcefully challenging him to a one on one duel. The local police encourage Ip to fight Jin in hopes of regaining Foshan's honor in martial arts. Ip accepts and him and Jin take on one another. Ip doesn't even look challenged as Jin tries everything he can to take the master down, but his own form is too aggressive and plays into Jin's form perfectly. Soon Jin is humiliated and forced to leave town with his plan in shambles.
A few years later and its 1937 not long after Japan's military might has turned its focus to China and invaded. Now its occupation of China, including Foshan, has turned the once vibrant city into a shanty town, Ip Man's own mansion was taken from him and used as the Japanese military headquarters. Forced to live in poverty and eat based only off of bags of rice Ip Man realizes his years spent training in martial arts was wasted because now he had no skills to provide for his family. He finds a job at a local coal mine where he also finds former students of the many schools that have now all been shut down. The coal site owner has respect for the martial arts and the fact that he hires so many former students, and even some masters, gets out to a Japanese general.
The general, Miura, is a master of Japanese martial arts and has built an arena where he forces his Japanese students to take on any Chinese martial artists he can find. Any Chinese who can beat his trainees earn themselves a bag of rice which attracts those most desperate. After a fellow employee, and former student Ip would help train on the side, goes missing after volunteering for these fights Ip decides to go himself. There he finds a fellow master fighting the Japanese and earning himself some rice but when the master fails a match and attempts to pick up a bag of rice one of the general's aides shoots and kills him.
Ip Man is enraged at the action and volunteers to be next in the match and challenges ten of Miura's men. One by one Ip Man is able to defeat all of Miura's men and earn himself ten bags of rice. Ip's actions peak Miura's interest wondering if he can continue to see and maybe one day challenge Ip Man but Ip refuses.
Soon after the incident Ip visits an old friend of his, Chow Chin-chuen, who has begun a cotton mill in Foshan in hopes of rebuilding the towns wealth. Chow informs Ip that his mill is having problems with some robbers who stopped his shipments and has begun to harass and beat up Chow's workers until they are paid off. Ip begins to train the workers of the plant to fight back against the highwaymen and when they arrive again the workers do. But it isn't enough and Ip arrives himself to defeat their leader, Jin. Jin fell on hard times after Ip beat him and prevented him from opening up a school in Foshan and ever since the Japanese invaded has used his skills to harass the poor and survive through unsavory means.
Ip hasn't been able to train for nearly years and despite this is able to deal with Jin and his gang easily. Ip's actions though don't come without consequences and Japanese soldiers both hear about his training at the cotton mill and soon plan to arrest the workers. Ip arrives and offers himself up to the soldiers in hopes of saving the workers any punishments. Miura offers Ip his life if he will train the Japanese soldiers in Wing Chun which Ip refuses flatly but challenges Miura to a one on one duel. Miura doesn't wish to refuse the fight and seem to be running away from a Chinese challenger and firmly believes his Japanese martial arts are superior to Chinese martial arts.
Miura and Ip face off in the very Foshan square where the schools would train and show off to other schools. A crowd of citizens watch as Ip and Miura take begin and the fight goes back to forth as Ip slowly but surely gains the upper hand. Ip is able to defeat the general and begins to look out over the crowd hearing his name chanted and cheered and seeing his wife and child running through the crowd. One of the general's aides fires a shot, deflected slightly by Miura's interpreter and friend of Ip, hitting Ip in the shoulder and dropping him off the edge of the arena. The shot starts a scuffle between the Japanese soldiers and the Chinese citizens as Ip's wife and son rush to his side. Ip survives and is taken away traveling to Hong Kong, where Ip has a few friends and he and his family can be safe. Ip begins a Wing Chun school there training a whole new generation in martial arts.
Originally released in China in 2008 before slowly making its way around the world and eventually seeing a North American release in 2010. The film is considered a very good film and a great martial arts film and critics praise the film overall as well as Donnie Yen's performance as Ip Man. The film earned high marks in ticket sales in China becoming china's 13th highest grossing movie of all time and earned about $21 million even without a North American or vast European release. What North Americans did get was Ip Man on DVD and Blu-ray which, with some helpful fervor from overseas, spurred Ip Man to success in the states. The film's overall success spawned its sequel, Ip Man 2, which was released in China in 2010.
|blog||Just Watched: My Thoughts on Ip Man||AlwaysBeClothing|
|review||An amesome martial arts display (4 out of 5)||MrWright|
|forum||This movie is amazing!||HolyCrapItsAdam|
|review||A Superb Return to Old School HK (4 out of 5)||kickinthehead|
|news||Free Fridays: Ip Man Edition||Rorie|
|review||Ip Man will punch you in the face, you know, in the good way. (4 out of 5)||brushwriter|
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