I’ve seen many a kung fu film over the years thanks to my dad’s love of martial arts, in particular Jackie Chan films. And I do profess to a great appreciation for all the stunt work he does. But nothing, and I mean nothing compares to the superb choreography present in the film Ip Man.
Every fight is incredibly fast paced and beautiful to watch. Blink and you’ll miss several blows, kicks and blocks as fast as any fight I’ve seen in cinema and all perfectly timed and executed. The story itself is well paced and many of the characters are likable, even the bandit that shows up to challenge the martial arts masters of Fo Shan. While Ip Man himself is quiet and humble, he doesn’t need much for the story that is told. He doesn’t need characterization because the real man he was based on was equally quiet and humble in his later years. While the story is of course an exaggeration of the real life Japanese invasion of China, it can be forgiven in the way that the various characters try to persevere the hardships. Ip Man’s wife seems to come off initially as standoffish and a bit strict, but she stands by him in the end and shows that she really does care for him and her son greatly. It is this loyalty in the characters that gives them that little shine that endears them to the viewer.
But the real meat and potatoes of the film is every fight scene that only get better and better as the film progresses. The fight between the bandit is fun and exciting, the fight between the ten black belts is mind-blowing, and the final fight between General Miura and Ip Man in front of the remnants of the city of Fo Shan is heart stopping. While I’ve not seen the sequel, considering that the same choreographer is involved I’ll be sure to check it out myself and may make a quick article on that. Nonetheless, be sure to see this ASAP as anyone would really enjoy watching this. And lack of curse words, blood and gore (except for the occasional wrenched limb, but nothing that would shock or scare) makes this perfect for sitting back to watch on any evening.