Movie Ip Man (2008)

Watched 20101203 (Netflix, Instant) English subtitles.
Ip Man (2008) Wilson Yip. 106 min.


Relevant Links:
Ip Man (IMDb.com)
Ip Man (film) (Wikipedia.org)
Yip Man (Wikipedia.org)

The movie is about Chinese martial artist Ip Man. While skilled in the art of Wing Chun, Ip is humble and keeps to himself and his family. Other masters, however, come to challenge him. In keeping with his humbleness, Ip fights behind closed doors. Furthermore, he fights with dignity.


One day, a master and his students come to town looking to open a school. However, the master first wants to show his strength, specifically in the Northern style, by beating the other school masters. He defeats them, but isn't satisfied. He goes to challenge Ip, who he has heard is quite skilled. Ip, however, defeats him rather effortlessly. Ip's victory increases his fame in the town and many want to be his student. He, however, isn't looking to teach.

Later, as a result of the Japanese invasion, Ip Man loses his home and wealth. Him and his family move into an old, rundown home, and he takes a job moving coal at a coal mine. Around the same time, an arena is set up by Japanese General Miura where contestants earn a bag of rice for winning a match against Japanese martial artists. Characteristic of his personality, Ip Man stays away, until his friend goes missing and he comes to investigate. While there, Ip sees Master Liu shot dead upon claiming his bag for a previous fight. Outraged, Ip calls to enter and moreover requests to fight ten fighters at once. Letting his anger permeate, Ip mercilessly defeats the ten fighters. Witnessing this display of skill, General Miura requests Ip Man returns.


Ip doesn't return, as his motive for competing was purely to avenge Liu's death. Miura, unsatisfied, looks to find Ip. Meanwhile, Ip helps his friend, owner of a cotton mill, train workers in the art of Wing Chun, so that they may defend themselves against a band of thieves led by Jin Shanzhao, the Northern style master from earlier in the story.

You'll have to watch the movie to find out the rest!


20101203:
I don't think I've seen a martial arts movie in a while. For the most part I like the choreography in this one. Some minor details in the film were strange. Especially the ending where, without spoiling the ending, I was wondering how they would execute the end since at some point it seemed to become awkward if the ending that should happen happened. Though since I didn't know the real life history of Yip Man (in fact I didn't know the movie was based on a real person until the end) then the ending was suspenseful for me. Then again, you never know what liberties a writer may take with a true story.

By the way, the choreography was done by Sammo Hung!

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