Ip Man

  • 15
  • Wilson Yip (2008)
  • HK (SUB)
  • 106 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Donnie Yen takes the lead in this first film in a recent spate dedicated to the famed kung fu master. The film introduces Ip during the 1930s boom period in his native Foshan, where a life of domestic harmony with his young family comes to an abrupt end when invading Japanese forces seize control. Dispossessed and hungry, Ip is forced to scratch a living, but uses his skills to resist the enemy and becomes an inspiration to his fellow downtrodden citizens in the process. There's a pleasing playfulness about the opening scenes, which contrast, in a slightly jarring way, with the downbeat mood that follows during the occupation. The Japanese themselves couldn't be more stereotyped in their presentation, with the honourable-but-brutal general and his cackling, sadistic henchman playing to type. Yen's performance is also a bit one-dimensional as the modest wing chun expert, but at least he gives a good account of himself in the finely composed and inventive close-combat scenes - an impressive highlight being when he wipes the floor with ten soldiers with methodical precision.

Plot Summary

Biographical martial arts drama starring Donnie Yen. China in the 1930s: Ip Man's reputation as a martial arts master has brought fame and fortune to the city of Foshan. But hard times are ahead, as the Japanese invasion brings the once prosperous city to its knees.

Cast and crew


Ip Man
Donnie Yen
Simon Yam
Hiroyuki Ikeuchi
Lam Ka Tung
Fan Siu-wong
Xing Yu
Wong You-nam


Wilson Yip

Other Information

Cantonese, Japanese +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Showbox Media Group Ltd
Available on DVD and BluRay
Certificate 15
Showbox Media Group Ltd