The Grandmaster (2013)
Critic Consensus: Though its storytelling is a tad muddled, Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster still exhibits the auteur's stylistic flourishes in gorgeous cinematography and explosive action set pieces.
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Critic Reviews for The Grandmaster
The movie's problems are, in part, those of a great artist trying something new. It's a fine mess.
The Grandmaster blends right in with Wong's body of work, a gorgeous meditation on the importance of sorrow and lament. This one just happens to have kung fu, too.
It ranks with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero and House of Flying Daggers as one of the most elegant and beautiful martial-arts films to play American screens.
You leave this deeply flawed, deeply beautiful film with no doubt that you've seen an indisputable cinematic grandmaster in action.
Wong Kar Wai is an expressionist master. A master of character - deep, rich, truthful character - especially in The Grandmaster, he is not.
Audience Reviews for The Grandmaster
Wong Kar-Wai seems only concerned about his irritating aesthetics in this hugely unfocused mess that even includes a useless narration and inexplicably irrelevant characters like The Razor - not to mention the use of a theme from Once Upon a Time in America for no clear reason.
The cinematography, no matter what the screenplay is like, how the acting is, or even if the direction was awful, really sold me on this film. Everything technical needs to be praised before any negativity, because this films' visuals will blow your mind. I could not look away from the screen at any moment during the fight sequences, because the choreography and camera work was so beautiful and deserves it's Oscar nomination. Now on to the story. It is a very well-told and well-paced screenplay, but the film is a lot of style, and seems like it overshadows everything. To me, it took me out of the film's messages a bit, but that is always why it has it's nomination, so it's a bit of a tug of war. The acting is very good and the direction is not bad, although it seems he left it up to the cinematographer to plan the action sequences for him. At it's core, this film centers the Ip Man, who would move onto his later years after this film, to be Bruce Lee's trainer. I will definitely recommend this film to people who enjoy true stories or martial arts, but I think that is as far as it will reach. I really enjoyed watching this film though!
the storytelling was disjointed, the locations limited, and the characters were dull and underdeveloped. this film suffered from a lack of awareness of time and environment. however it was saved by some stunning fight sequences and solid performances. overall, solid watching but missed a chance to be great.
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