Monday, February 6, 2012

Ip Man

In 1930s China, the town of Fo Shan was an epicenter of the martial arts, where students traveled from miles away to study under the various disciplines. Of all the teachers in all the schools, the most skilled was Ip Man, a courageous master who practiced the art of Wing Chun and defended the townspeople from invading forces. When the Japanese overran their town, Ip Man and the rest of the villagers were resorted to a life of destitution, hunger, and misery. Soon though, a sadistic general and his brutal lieutenant's need for sport will give the great master another opportunity to demonstrate his supreme talents and fight against injustice. "Ip Man" is an entertaining and kinetic martial arts movie about the man who eventually train several Kung Fu legends, among them Bruce Lee. As the title hero Donnie Yen, an unknown to me, is absolutely magnetic and in addition to a stunning arsenal of moves he also brings an intense likability to his character. The film's subject is somewhat broad and more concerned with the action sequences than the plot (as are most of its viewers). Still, "Ip Man" serves its purpose thanks in large part to an outstanding lead performance.