Starring: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan
Directed by: Wilson Yip
Written By: Edmond Wong
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 46 min
You’d be mistaken if you thought this movie was an historical account of the martial artist Yip Man (pronounced Yip Mun). A quick search on the internet would clarify that easily enough. But if you’re looking for a great martial arts film, you can’t go wrong with this. The fight set pieces in Ip Man are superb. The direction by Wilson Yip wisely pulls the camera back so you can watch these skilled performers work. Only tightening on the action to add weight and power to a special throw, punch or kick. There is also very little wire work used so the action has impact and feels real. Each and every fight scene is an absolute joy to watch. That’s not all this film has to offer either. There’s an emotive plot driving the story along, and the lead performance by Donnie Yen is subtle and really effective.
Martial arts action fans should not be disappointed with this. Even if you’ve never appreciated the genre, there’s still plenty to enjoy here.
Best viewing format:
A matinee showing would be nice if it’s available. A nice HD copy at home will work too. I personally ended up buying a copy on blue-ray, because it’s the kind of film you’ll watch over and over again. Even if you cheat and skip to your favorite fight scenes.
Best fight scene for me:
Ip Man takes on 10 Japanese fighters after watching a friend of his get executed. It’s a powerful scene, and nicely photographed. It’s also absolutely amazing to watch too!