April 29, 2010
Title: Grandmaster IP MAN
Genre: Action/Kung Fu/Drama
Director: Wilson Yip Wai-Shun
Format: Feature film
Length: 103 mins
Synopsis: In 1930’s China, the town of Fo Shan is the legendary hub of Kung fu martial arts. Ip Man is an accomplished grandmaster of Wing Chun but chooses to keep a low profile and refuses to take any students. Challenge after brutal challenge see the town realize that Ip Man’s martial art is unstoppable.
After the Invasion of Japanese Army, Fo Shan descends into chaos and struggles to survive. Ip Man rises to defend his fellow men by challenging General Miura and the Japanese forces.
Two word…. UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME!
Even after its release in 2008, its still as good as when I first saw it. AMAZING!
For those who have not watched this movie, I would highly recommend you get off that couch of yours and buy a copy…its well worth it!
This movie is a semi biography of the late & great Grandmaster IP man (Bruce lee’s master) and founder of the Wing Chun Kung Fu. It gives us great insight to his life, family and everyday dealings during his days of glory and beyond.
The story is well written and executed, in fact Edmond Wong uses a very realistic approach to his screen plays which makes it so much more believable. The bulk of the movie was based around one of the largest Asian wars in the 20th century, the Second Sino-Japanese War (July 7, 1937 – September 9, 1945). Firstly, lets take a look at the cinematography and how O Sing-Pui delivered the film through his lens.
Personally I feel that O Sing-Pui, not only captured every shot with perfection, but also emotion and relevance to each moment in the movie. Take for instance the opening shot, Fo Shan’s Kung Fu street. In that single shot, O managed to capture the essence of Fo Shan, its competitiveness, struggle, fight and more importantly beauty hidden beneath the city. It was a magical shot that brought the viewers closer to the people and surroundings of Fo Shan. Another very good example of Sing-Pui’s excellent cinematography are the fighting scenes. Lets take for example the fight between Ip Man and the Northern master Jin Shanzhao early on in the movie. O followed every step, punch and movement, framed and captured every attack and defense with so much detail and precision it made the viewers involved in the fight. I’ve never felt so hyped and engaged in a kung fu movie in a long while.
I can go on about O Sing-Pui’s cinematography for hours but it’d best that you watch it for yourself. Another aspect of the movie that fascinated me was sets, props and art direction of the entire movie.
To replicate Fo Shan and its people from the mid to late 30s is no easy task but Kenneth Mak managed it really well. From architectural structures, vehicles to daily utensils and general appearance, every inch of the set was thought out and executed 110%. A very good example would be the streets of Fo Shan in the early scenes, the buildings, flags, people, cars, and every little signage around the set complimented each other, which was what made it come to life. Even Ip Man’s mansion and interior setting was set out perfectly.
Martial Arts Choreography
What more can I say about the choreography by Sammo Hung Kam-Bo… UNBELIEVABLE.
Watch the movie and you will understand what I am trying to put across.
As I mentioned earlier in my overall thoughts section, this is an amazing movie that will definitely find its way to the TOP 10 best movies of all time and very well worth your watch. I would personally highly recommend, not only watching, but purchasing the film, because it is worth having in your collection.
Get your copy of Grandmaster IP man from Madman Entertainment now.
Fat Kids Rating: 9.5/10
IP MAN 2 is out now in cinemas near you (hopefully this sequel will be as good as the first one).
Reviewed by Benny Teh