Ip Man is a 2008 Kung Fu film inspired by the life of Master Yip Man who was the Wing Chun Kung Fu master who trained Bruce Lee. The sucess of Bruce Lee’s film career paved the way for martial arts movie stars like Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Now Donnie Yen is carrying the torch and become the new face of the Chinese Kung Fu movies.
Ip Man’s grounded drama and superb action set it apart from Kung Fu movies that are exaggerated to the point of camp. The grounded and practical approach makes the fights more visceral with an emotional impact.
The film’s success spawned a series of sequels and IP Man 4 is now streaming on Netflix. While there are some sand out action set-pieces in the sequels, I felt that the original Ip Man had the strongest story. There is also an Ip Man prequel which I really liked.
Here are some additional movies that fans of Ip Man should watch.
In Chasing the Dragon a lowly street fighter rises to become a mob boss. It’s an incredible Chinese crime thriller while a wonderfully dark performance from Donnie Yen playing a mobster similar to “Scarface.”
Rise of the Legend is more fantastic and stylized than Ip Man. The slow-motion sequences reminded me of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes.
Whether you are a long time martial arts fan or want a good place to start you need to check out Ip Man.