Howdy ladies and gents, time for a one paragraph review and today I get to talk about one of my all-time favourite martial arts films, Ip Man. I remember watching this I think in my final year of college back in 2010 and being blown away, so I thought I’d give it another go to see if it still resonates with me and sure enough it did and I’m going to tell you why it is so awesome in this review.
The plot can be summed up as the following: “During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense.” Ip Man to me is perfection or as close to it as you can get. It tells a story of hardship, honour and determination, it is well-paced and fascinating given the time period and people who interact with Ip Man over the course of the film whether they be friend or foe. What I love about this martial arts film besides the action is the story, not many films in this genre have a very engaging story with several characters you engage with or has depth and emotional moments that hook you, but Ip Man does and that is partly due to the fact that this is a biographical film, however it also helps that the writing, acting and direction is really well done. The acting is all top-notch with everyone portraying their characters in a fun, graceful and engaging way, I really liked Lynn Hung as Cheung Wing-sing, Gordon Lam as Li Chiu, Fan Siu-wong as Kam Shan-chu and Hiroyuki Ikeuchi as General Miura. But the key man is Donnie Yen as Ip Man, he is simply incredible. Not only does Yen carry himself with an air of confidence, strength and charisma through his fight scenes, but also acts with such conviction especially through body language, facial expressions and an intensity that you can feel when things get serious. As for the presentation it was on fire! For me Ip Man has some of the best fight scenes in any martial arts film period, the fight choreography is masterful, it is like watching an elegant dance except with punches, kicks and an assortment of weapons, every movement is tight, sharp and has force. It also helps that the cinematography captures the action perfectly from a distance with little cuts in between so that you can see exactly what’s happening, oh and the sound effects have the perfect about of impact too. Also the film score by Kenji Kawai is beautiful, so incredible and matches the tone of the film perfectly. In conclusion Ip Man is one of the finest martial arts films ever made in my opinion, not only because it provides some of the best cinematography and fight choreography the genre has ever seen, but also because there is a story with heart, drama and realism that is very engaging and realistic. This film is a must-see for martial arts fans.
So have you seen Ip Man and if so what do you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts on the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀