Release Date: July 27, 2010
Ip Man (pronounced Eep-Mun) is a martial arts film driven by what motivates a person to perform and practice martial arts than one obsessed with a mindless carousel of fight scenes and a minimalist plot line. The story of Ip Man takes place in Kwangtung, Foushan, the “it” town for the martial arts culture in China during the 1930’s. During this time period, specifically 1935, the main character in the film, Ip Man (Donnie Yen), is an independently wealthy individual whose sole occupation is the practice of Wing Chun kung fu. Ip Man is a soul practitioner of Wing Chun, it makes him complete, like surfing made Bodi complete in Point Break. In many mainstream action movies, their plots are worked out around set-piece action sequences, where in Ip Man, it is almost the opposite. Continuing down the Robert Forest-like road less traveled, Ip Man tries to avoid fighting competitions. It is against his nature yet he is a master of his art form hence his conundrum. To partake in said art form, he must practice, fight or at least spar on occasion. This conundrum is exasperated by his combat-weary wife Wing Cheng (Lynn Hung). At one time it must have been exciting to be around someone so skilled but having been married, she has now become all too aware of the cost of that skill.
Ip Man is humble almost to fault: he accepts no disciples, whether they are willing to pay for his tutelage or not. Initially, it also does not matter how worthy they are of his teachings either. His life is devoted to his family and to practice. It is only in extreme situations that Ip Man uses his skill offensively and it is at these times that Ip Man shows he has nothing to be humble about when it comes to martial arts. Though Ip Man will not fight for himself or personal gain, he will fight for honor, whether it is his, his friends or his communities.
Ip Chun, Ip Man’s eldest son, talks about Donny Yen, the 108 Wing Chun wooden dummy moves he had to learn and his study of his father. The Making Of is a composite of footage from the interview of Wilson Ip as well. It talks about how Donnie never studied Wing Chun before and studied for nine months. How Sammo Hung is the fight choreographer for the film. Close-range Wing Chun fighting is discussed and how there is drama in the choreography. The viewer also finds out that some of the characters did not know any kung-fu before being cast in this film.
Wilson Yip, the director of Ip Man, talks at length about most of the main actors in the film, why certain actors were chosen and how they performed. We find out that Yip and Yen have worked together on four films and that yen was the fight choreographer on all of those films except Ip Man. He speaks about the Ip Man shrine and how Bruce Lee was an idol of Yen and his and the reason behind making an Ip Man film.
This is basically a running montage of promotional footage for the film, behind the scenes footage, fight practice footage all the way from the beginning to the end of the production, and is accompanied by music and subtitles here and there
Behind the Sets
The viewer is given behind the scenes info on the Cotton Mill, Streets of Fo Shan, and Ip Man’s Home.
Chun’s Visit – Ip Man bring his first born to a fight.
Northern Accent – The Northern fighter betrays Ip Man to the Japanese.
Get the Traitor – The former police officer/translator gets beaten down after the final fight by the watching crowd.
Teaser and Regular Trailer
Most martial arts films do not get a presentation like this. This and Fearless are martial arts films you can’t go wrong with.