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Ip Man

December 28, 2008

Move over Butterfly Lovers. Here comes the Ip Man.

I haven’t seen Cantonese movies for awhile for obvious reason that there aren’t that many shown here in Brunei. Based on recommendation and good review of the latest kung fu blockbuster, I went out to watch Ip Man.

Ip Man now showing at both the Mall and Qlap cineplex.

Ip Man now showing at both the Mall and Qlap.

Ip Man, according to the movie’s official website, is adapted from the life story of Ip Man, the grandmaster of the Wing Chun style of Kung Fu. Ip Man, played by the cool Donnie Yen, is also the sifu or master of the legendary kung fu superstar Bruce Lee.

The movie is not about Bruce Lee, that fact came right at the end of the movie. So give me a movie based on a real story and I will surely watch it; such movies are just so, err real.

Anyway, back to Ip Man, the movie claimed that it ‘differs from the dazzlingly romantic and purely fictional style of previous martial art movies. Its explosive punches and aggressive close-range combat offer a new thrill never experienced by modern day audiences, said the movie website.

200px-ipmanposter02Directed by Wilson Yip, the film stars Donnie Yen as Yip Man and features fight choreography by Sammo Hung. Yip Man’s two sons and several Wing Chun practitioners also appear in the film. Ip Chun, Yip Man’s eldest son served as a consultant for the film.

So what do I think of the movie? I give it two thumbs up. 9 out of 10. Go watch it! This is no ‘Kung Fu Panda’ – that’s hilariously entertaining. If you are a fan of Bruce Lee and wanted to see kung fu moves, this movie is for you.

What I like about the movie is the humbleness of Ip Man. He didn’t fight for money; he fought for dignity as it was during the Japanese occupation that most of the story was set. He didn’t show off his skills, he hid them. I also love the part when he was challenged and his opponent asked: “Are you afraid of your wife?” and he replied: “It’s not being afraid, it’s all about showing respect,” or something like that. Now that’s commendable.

Who is Master Ip Man? Born as Ip Kai-Man in 1893 in the Foshan City of Guangdong Province, he studied Wing Chun style kung fu under Money Changer Wah to improve his health. Ip Man became the last pupil of Wah and was cared for by Wah’s senior pupils.

When Foshan fell under the Japanese rule during rhe Sino-Japanese War,  patriotic Ip refused to serve the Japanese militia. In the movie, it was shown that Ip agreed to a fight with a Japanese General as he would rather die than to teach the Japanese, the Chinese kung fu. I don’t want to spoil the story-line, you have to watch it.

I am happy to learn that there would be a sequel to this movie next year. Yes to Ip Man (and NO to ‘Yes Man’).

3 Comments leave one →
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