Friday, April 10, 2009

Ip Man - 葉問

Ip Man (葉問) is a 2008 film starring Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Lin Xiong Dai, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, and Lam Ka-Tung.

Ip Man is a movie about the Ip Man's life in China around the time before and during Foshan's Japanese occupation of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The movie starts with a tranquil Foshan. Where people are well off and study martial arts as a hobby. Ip Man, played by Donnie Yen, has a son and wife and seem well to do. Ip Man does not have a job and trains in martial arts as a hobby. Apparently, everyone in Foshan recognizes him as the best fighter. I see this when some thugs burst into town and beat up all the heads of the martial art schools. Its up to Ip Man to show these thugs the exit. The movie than moves to the Japanese occupation and just how bad it is there. Ip Man and Wife are kicked out of their nice home and forced to pawn all belongings just for rice. Ip Man finally has to get a job and falls into a underground tournament set up by the commanding General. Ip Man eventually beats everyone and heads off to Hong Kong.

If you read the history of Ip Man and than watch this film, you'll know that its pretty much just using Ip Man, Foshan, and Wing Chun. Because, the movie and the facts don't jive. Putting that aside, the movie is half action and half drama. When the fighting is on, its on. Its crushing, has nice editing and is on point. When the drama is on, its to lead up to the fighting. You put those together and you've got a fighting movie that's entertaining and emotional.

It's a well made film and the English subtitles came in handy when they used paragraphs to advance the story and when there was Japanese dialogue.

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