Ip Man Review

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Creative biopic of wing chun master, Ip Man, who taught Bruce Lee.


Ip Man was a celebrated wushu master who suffered under Japanese occupation during the late ’30s and early ’40s and then went on to teach his favoured discipline, the brilliantly economical wing chun, to no less an illustrious student than Bruce Lee.

In part, Wilson Yip’s movie is a shameless hagiography that only bears a passing resemblance to history. But, with the action choreographed by Jackie Chan’s chum Sammo Hung, it’s also a highly inventive fight film, Hero’s Donnie Yen, as Ip Man, somehow turning wing chun’s tight, sharp moves (think Bourne) into flourishes. Highlight? When Ip defeats a sword-wielding braggart with a feather duster, thereby redefining ‘dust-up’.

The action is enthralling even if the storyline doesn't always have the ring of truth about it.