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“A rapid-fire and concussive flurry of astounding fighting action” — Mark Pollard, KUNG FU CINEMA
Director: Wilson Yip
Screenplay: Edmond Wong
Cast: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Louis Fan, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Gordon Lam
Producers: Raymond Wong Pak-Ming
Distributor: Mandarin Films
One fight, one bag of rice! It's 1937 and the Japanese have mercilessly occupied Fo Shan, China, once a haven for superior martial artists, immersed in peace, tranquility and the odd scrap between rival kung fu schools. Fo Shan also happens to be the hometown of Bruce Lee’s legendary Wing Chun master Ip Man (Donnie Yen of SPL, HERO and SEVEN SWORDS). General Miura (KARAOKE TERROR’s Hiroyuki Ikeuchi) has organized martial-arts fights between the locals and his men, to test their skills and reward a much-needed bag of rice to the victor. But when Ip Man's friend Liu is gunned down while collecting his prize, his death unleashes a ferocity in Ip Man which he uses to take on 10 fighters at once, in one of the most memorable and breathless action scenes in HK cinema history. General Miura feels that Ip Man’s skills are a potential goldmine for his army to learn from, but the martial arts master refuses to surrender like a dog. What fate will descend upon him? Adding to the chaos is disgruntled fighter Master Jin (STORY OF RICKY’s Louis Fan), leader of a badass group of thieves.
Winner of Best Picture prize at the 2009 Hong Kong Film Awards, this is the first official film version of the story of Ip Man, legendary exponent of Wing Chun, a kung fu style used more commonly by women than men. But as Master Ip Man would say, “It doesn’t matter on the sex but how you use it.” Wing Chun has been made popular by Ip Man’s own most famous student, Bruce Lee, and is now brilliantly spotlighted by director Wilson Yip (SPL, WHITE DRAGON), who expertly balances the drama, humour and action—and brought in Ip Man’s own son as an advisor. Veteran action choreographer Sammo Hung, along with Tony Leung Siu Hung, deservingly snagged the Best Action Choreography prize at HK Film Awards—they keep each action scene grounded in traditional artistry yet show enough modern flair to yield high-calibre excitement and dynamism. The solid cast includes Johnnie To regulars Simon Yam and Gordon Lam, but at the heart of IP MAN is Donnie Yen, whose high-voltage athletic prowess has wowed audiences for years and has made him a worthy successor to the throne as the new king of kung fu cinema.