Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wendy's Films of 2010 #60: Ip Man (2008)

I've been on a big martial arts/samurai kick lately, and it all started with Ip Man. Best part of this movie is that it can stand alone, it doesn't need the martial arts to have a story, but it takes the movie from good to "holy shit, yeah!" The film is a semi-autobiographical look at Ip Man (pronounced Eep Mun), the man who first taught the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun.
Can I just say how wicked it is to watch a man with a feather-covered stick defeat one carrying a sword? Heck yes. Throughout the film, Ip Man quietly goes about his life, secretly being the best martial artist in Foshan. His skills are discovered and come into use numerous times, especially after the Japanese invade China and his community is stricken with death and poverty. Because of this setting, the film is strong dramatically and each battle takes on the emotion of a man fighting to maintain his beliefs and the pride he has for his country. The fight scenes are quality, not in a "cheesy awesome" way, but in a "that was kick ass" way. As Ip Man, Donnie Yen gives a strong performance, he's likable, powerful and and his skills believable. Definitely check this one out.

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