Another martial arts epic for the ages, though this time Donnie Yen takes the lead, and deservingly so. Ip Man is a great movie, though not 100% accurate, but enjoyable and heartfelt as it tells the story of one of China's most revered Masters who later creates one of the world's largest legacy of martial arts, which is Wing Chun.
In the tradition of the Jet Li epics such as Once Upon a Tiime in China and Fearless, I guess this stands out more because of Donnie Yen's performance, which he took literally to heart and soul, as if he embodied the spirit of the man himself. With veteran Simon Yam and Sammo Hung as Action choreographer, how can this not be a great kung fu movie??
Anyways, in 1937-1945, China was invaded by Japan. After a light and humorous start to introduce the persona of Ip Man, the Master and his world was thrown into chaos, though he tried to make the best of it, he realised that his peaceful life and the solidarity that he hoped for himself and his family is impossible, and thus uses his unique skills to fight back oppression and give hope to his people. In the end, in order to survive, he will eventually leave China for Hong Kong, and I guess the next movie will tell that story.
Anyways, great cast and acting, this is a serious film though it has its moments. The music was undoubtledy a throwback to the traditional chinese kung fu music, but it blended well... the setting and cinematography was right, though it surely was no Hero or House of Flying Daggers, but its simplicity and mood which sold its vision and quality as an overall package.
Anyways, this a really great film on many levels on my opinion, not just the action. Probably because they had Ip Man's descendants help work on creating that authentic feel to the movie.
Two thumbs up.