My belated review of the movie IP MAN
I saw the movie Ip Man quite a while ago in late 2009 and yet here is my belated review of the movie IP MAN. The movie was released in Hong Kong in 2008. A movie about WingTsun (wing chun) like this has been a long time coming. It appears to be a dramatization of the real events in the life of Ip Man (Yip Man) prior to his move to Hong Kong after the take over by the Chinese Communists. At this early period in the life of Ip Man, the enemy of the freedom of the Chinese people was not an ideology but the nation of Japan which had invaded certain parts of China and occupied it during WWII. This film is remarkable on many fronts. For the first time in the martial arts genre, the film shows the technical martial arts fighting while also showing the real living habits of the characters, their customs and habits, their moral dilemma, their imperfections and their heroic qualities. Instead of non-stop fighting, interrupted by occasional speaking parts and minimal story, this movie carries the story relentlessly to a dramatic conclusion. The renowned late grandmaster of Wing Tsun (wing chun) was born into a wealthy family. He was the youngest to learn the art from Chan Wah Shun, the grand master of Wing Tsun in that part of China in the late 19th century. Ip Man used a remarkable sum of money in those days to pay his sifu the proper amount for lessons. The movie depicts his fortunate and carefree life and how he established and maintained a reputation as a kung-fu master in the town of Fat Shan and how that all went away with the start of hostilities of the World War. All fight scenes were shot with care and mastery of editing and choreography. The cruelty of the Japanese occupying forces was used for maximum emotional effect. The techniques, while not exactly as we in the Leung Ting WingTsun® system might have done it, were credible enough to give one the feeling of an art of economy and practicality. It is some of the best major motion picture depictions of the art of Ip Man (Yip Man). I strongly recommend it for both martial artists and non-martial artists alike. I give it: Martial arts genre rating – Five Stars. Non-genre movie rating: Four Stars.