Viewed – 15 March 2011 Blu-ray
As the second instalment of my renewed interest in all things far-eastern action orientated, we come to this much acclaimed biopic of Wing Chun master Ip Man, who among other things also went onto mentor none other than Bruce Lee. Donnie Yen plays the quietly spoken martial arts expert trying to live a peaceful life, until the Japanese Army invade and take over the country, causing his legendary skills to truly be put to the test.
Inspired by true events, this very well made movie offers both a kick-ass example of kung-fu cinema at it’s best and also a well told, thought provoking story that genuinly tugs at the heart strings. Yen is supported well by good performances from a mostly unknown cast (as well as seasoned veteran Simon Yam) and classy production values that compliment the wealth of expertly shot fight sequences. Kung Fu Legend Sammo Hung is on hand to choreograph the action, and his experience shows in some visceral, if slightly unimaginative confrontations, and Yen proves himself the best in the business with a brilliant physical performance and some commendable acting when necessary. Director Wilson Yip (Dragon Tiger Gate) delivers a focused, if slightly unoriginal story that pays an honourable tribute to a martial arts master, and with sequels in the works, this looks like a franchise well worth my time.
Verdict: 4 /5