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All Critics (4)
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IMDB lists the title of the film as "Ip Man Zero," an obvious nod to its coming before parts one and two, but unfortunately, it's also an inadvertent comment on what this particular film has to offer.
Can the most currently popular martial arts series survive without Donnie Yen, the most popular action star in Asia? Absolutely.
Rigorous, authentic fighting by physically formidable newcomer Dennis To and a stellar supporting cast.
There is nothing in this bubbling soap opera of a plot that can't be solved with drawn-out fight scenes. And so they jump and kick, poke, slap and twirl for half the film.
Now I've the other two Donnie Yen Ip Man movies and decided to checkout what often's called Ip Man 0. If you've seen the other two Donnie Yen movies everything here will seem like downgrade.
The Legend Is Born: Ip Man is about Yip Man's resistance against invading foreigners, along with his romantic relations while under the tutelage of three Wing Chun masters. Everything in this movie never felt effective nor was interesting. The plot is all over place and tries to handle to much plot with no success. It attempts to tell something significance of the early years of Yip Man life, except the movie will leave little impact on you when it's over. The characters never developed, there is plenty of weak plot points, and there's even Ninjas in the mix. The subtitles also keep messing up Ip Man name, you spell it Ip Man not Lp Man. The cast do a decent job in their roles, except Dennis To who tried to hard to look like Donnie Yen. The fight scenes are nice to watch, but they're pretty standard stuff. The fight scenes are also more over the top and none of them really stand out in any way. So overall everything feels downgraded and inferior to the Donnie Yen Ip Man films.
The Legend Is Born: Ip Man is a forgettable Martial Art film that's not worth your time. It's not a good Ip Man movie and you won't miss anything if you don't watch it.
Another great Ip Man movie but this time it seems to focus more on the storyline than the kung fu itself. Despite that the film is still great to watch and the fighting is as you would expect, superb. The only downside to it is that the concentration on the storyline shows for a weaker plot but we all know that the martial arts is the star, and so, in that respect, this film still beats the majority of martial arts films out at the moment or since.
The semi-fictional biopic of Ip Man continues, this time chronicling Ip Man's formative years in this prequel Ip Man film. Interesting story of his life what I can see the love triangles and plot of a Japanese spy.
On the other hand, newcomer Dennis To is a Wing Chun champion in Hong Kong and is not an actor by background. He might lack acting prowess but he more than makes it up in Wing Chun abilities.
I was surprised to see Ip Man's real son Ip Chun appeared in this film as the elderly but sprighty Leung Bike who teaches Ip Man a thing or two about his brand of Wing Chun.
The Wing Chun sparring scene between Ip Chun and Dennis is a masterpiece, so was the sparring between Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao. Incidentally, both Sammo and Yuen Biao are older pupils from the same master as Donnie Yen, so they are 'colleagues'.
Herman Yau gets the pleasure to tell the early years of Ip Man in The Legend Is Born: Ip Man.
Although released after the first two Ip Man films, this one is a prequel to both, which makes it easily watchable on its own.
One of the major story details revolves around Ip Man learning the Wing Chun martial arts style, but it actually doesn't focus intensively on the training itself. The 1 hour 40 minutes leaves room for other things to address, like Ip Man's relationship with his adopted brother and also his love interest.
The martial arts choreography is impressive, and while there is a lot of sparring in the early going, that doesn't make it any less entertaining. By the end of the film, the confrontations end up as not so friendly fights that thrill just as much as the spars.
The performances are good all around; however, the casting can be confusing. There are actors in here from the other Ip Man films with completely different roles. Dennis To, the lead, is one of them.
Overall, The Legend Is Born: Ip Man passes the standard in all the necessary departments, leading to a recommendable marital arts picture.
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