Entertainment · Human rights · Positive

Ip Man (2008) review

The other day at lunch, my colleagues and I were sitting at the pantry. The Star was open on the table and we were suddenly discussing about the current movies in cinemas like Bolt and The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

One of the Malay engineers asked, “I.P. (Internet Protocol) Man?”

I work at a IT company.

“Huh? Oh. Yip Mun.”

wu-jing.org - Y Ip Man Stripped Of Grandmaster Status?
wu-jing.org – Y Ip Man Stripped Of Grandmaster Status?

Like Fong Sai Yuk (acted by Jet Li), this Ip Man is Donnie Yen’s best acting. He’s not flashy, doesn’t take off his clothes to show off his chest and best of all, he’s calm but smart in this movie.

Most people who are not hardcore kung fu / martial arts fan would know Wing Chun style but not who is Yip Mun.

The version I watched at cinema was in Cantonese.. I thought it would be in Mandarin. The sub (subtitles) were funny – especially the Japanese dialogues. Check the differences between Mandarin, Malay & English. I had no idea about Mandarin part but the subs were totally different words!

This is the best Chinese movie I had watched this year! I wished it were longer!! If anyone wanted to treat me to watch this movie again, pls call me ;)

The story begins with Yip Mun practicing on the Wooden Dummy. What are the words onthe dummy? I think I remember my ex-instructor to hit my frail-looking wrist on wood before to strengthen it (and make it bigger). Some of the stances are like Shaolin kung fu and Wing Chun (the lady) was taught by a nun. Get the connection? Back then, only men had the privilege of learning kung fu as such activites were too “rough” for ladies, who should be quiet and obedient. The only place for the women were homes and kitchen. Or temples.

Don’t you think we had more heroes in the past than now?

Lucky Yip Mun was super rich and had a beautiful wife plus a smart kid who dared to interrupt a fight with the new martial arts master. Haha.

His friend (Simon Yam) complained, “You are late again.”

“Sorry, I was very busy. A lot of things to do.”

“Busy what? You eat, sleep and practice only.”

And it’s true. In the movie anyway. We saw him eating leisurely with his family and the occassional Masters, I suspect. Then he smoked, leisurely of course. He had several servants at home. Once in awhile, he’d go shopping at the streets with his family. Life was good. He didn’t need to work. His home is spacious. Sigh.. to be so rich…to do whatever you want.

Then the Japanese came with greed of power & violence. Why do people go to war? Why are there power crazy people?! Just be at peace, man!

You can bet this is going to be 1 of the top movies where there’s majority Chinese in the country. Not only because of the pride of a Chinese man but also the message in the movie – we need to protect ourselves by taking action.

I love the scene where the common cotton factory workers challenge the gangsters/robbers led by sturdy Jin, a Master from the North turned bad (Wong Fan Sui). He’s one of the better Master in terms of fighting skills (very powerfullll!) but uses it in the wrong way when caused havoc and hurt other Masters. During the Japanese occupation, he robbed from the weaker people (Chinese) instead of fighting against the invaders (Japanese). Though the factory workers were weak at first, they had the spirit to fight for their rights. There’s no difference between Jin & his gang vs Japanese who stole what was rightfully the citizens and then force them to pay to get back the stolen things (food, clothes, money, shelter). Stupid, coward men! Still, the General had more humanity & “tournament” and “friendly exchange” spirit – how nice these words are when they were not – than his cruel assistant.

It’s the first time I watch Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, though he had acted in Beautiful Life & GTO, which I had watched many years ago. Oh well. He was fast in his kicks & jumps – had black belt in Judo! General should just kill his henchman, who just wanted to shoot any Chinese.

This film is actually Lynn Hung’s first film. Not bad. She potrayed a wife who wanted her husband to spend more time with the family than practicing Wing Chun. Not a shy flower pot, she also had the gall to tell the group of people gathering at their home to leave. Cheers to feminisme!

Weird thing is the first Master we see at the begining lost to Yip Mun became much stronger during his fights with the Japanese troops. I forgot it was a few years later then. Spoiler (Ctrl+Alt+Del): But damn, Yip Mun should get the clean rice bag instead of the bloody one for the Master’s family! Ick. Who would want to eat the bloody rice?

Would the police (Lam Ka Tung) who became a translator be categorized as traitor?

There’s not much gory except for some blood sprouting out of the mouths. However, the movie is 18SG. It’s a mix of biography, comedy (not laugh out loud silly like Stephen Chow’s movies but the unexpected type) and martial arts.

The martial arts scenes are fast, real except when they bounce back just as they are going to fall. Feel like wanna learn Wing Chun now. Heheh. It’ll pass until I watch another good action movie.

The music by Kenji Kawai is great too!

After watching the movie, I read that Sammo appeared as cameo but I missed it. When is it?

Rating: 4.5/5 Every scene is a joy to watch.


3 thoughts on “Ip Man (2008) review

  1. i too enjoyed the show. i had no idea what was it about before it started and i was glad that filled with action thru out the movie :P lol my friends and i too joked about the title itself, IP Man.


  2. Im a malay, i love it.Better than Jet Li movies.Donnie Yuen should act as hero more rather than action coordinator, he got the looks and skill, he is Hong Kong’s Tony Jaa.


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