While really a 2008 release for Hong Kong, ‘Ip Man’ did not make its way to America until 2010. Ip Man is the semi-biographical cinematic look at the life of the first Wing Chun Kung Fu Master to openly teach to the public. Sometimes refered to as Yip Man he was also the teacher of Bruce Lee and many other great masters who went on to teach others the way of Wu Shu which is the framework for most of our Asian action heroes such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li and the films start Donnie Yen.
Yen, while from Hong Kong spent a portion of his childhood in Boston, while his hometown connection gives him a bias in a sense that I enjoy seeking out his films this movie stands as solid on its own.
You should know Yen as the spear-weilding first opponent of Jet Li in the epic ‘Hero’ the first of the three challenges Li’s character a nameless warrior fights on his way to his audience with the Emperor.
Ip Man deals with the earlier “coming of age” years of Yip up until the late 1940’s. A sequel to the film was released earlier this year which continues the tale of his life loosely through the 1950’s, the final scene of the sequel is Yip’s introduction to Bruce Lee. (Hopefully it makes its way quickly to America.)