IP man from 2008 is probably the best film i have seen this year and i've seen a few, a friend of mine gave it me a couple of years back and said "you have to watch this it is amazing"now,not to be disrespectful to my friend(you know who you are)but i see him about once every 3 months and we always swap a ton of films and boy he does me some crap movies,but he's great, hence the fact that this has sat there for soooo long.
Losely based upon the legend Bruce Lee's Mentor,IP Man is the story of his life starting in 1930's China and his development of the classic Kung-fu style Wing Chun.
The film opens up with a small Chinese town where there are many Kung Fu schools teaching many different styles when a gang comes to town to challenge the leaders of each school,The leader of the gang proceeds to go through each school and kick the shit out of all of the masters then is asking where the so called IP Man lives as he wants to finish him off,big mistake.
We then see IP Man at home with his wife and son in a it has to be said quite a large nice house,the gang leader comes to the house to challenge him and IP Man and his wife agree as long as his wife says you don't break anything,The fight scene is pretty incredible to say the least but as the film progresses you get to learn that this is only a few of many many incredible moments.
IP Man is played by Donnie Yen who if this is the first time you have seen him in anything you MUST check him out in such classics as Iron Monkey and his incredible breathtaking pole fight scene with Jet Li in Once upon a time in China 2,Donnie Yen plays this role to perfection,polite,funny,mean when he has to be and his fighting skills to say he ain't no spring chicken are mind blowing.
The story takes a turn for the worse when Japan invade China during WWII and basically enslaved the whole of the population,We then get to see the evil Japanese commander that has taken over the town and house where IP Man lived,IP Man as many other families are having nothing left,not even food and is forced to get a job in the Cole mine where the Japanese ask the Chinese to volunteer to fight the Japanese with view to winning a bag of rice and as everyone is starving they are taken daily,IP Man's friend is taken away and IP Man later finds out that he has been killed,outraged he volunteers to go as previously he has abstained,when he arrives the Japanese if he wants to fight 3 men and he Cooley replies "No,i'll fight 10"the fight scene that follows has to be seen to be believed,its fast and very very brutal ending with IP Man's trade mark super quick double punch to the face several times.
If i say much more i will spoil it and i really don't want to as i feel that everyone needs to see this,so if you do get to see it let me know what you think and i can guarantee 1000% that when the film ends and for many days after you will be walking around double punching the air!
All in all another fantastic Asian flick and as i said this is the best film i have seen this year so far along with more great Asian films such as I Saw the Devil,Confessions and Slice,Long may Asia carry on making films like this and put Hollywood to shame.
9/10 Jonny T.