Thursday, December 25, 2008

Double Doses of Donnie

The Americans have SuperMan
The Japanese have UltraMan
The Chinese have Ip Man

My heart has been filled with heavy anticipation ever since the released of the impressive trailer for the movie, Ip Man. After watching the movie last week, I can safely say that the movie surpassed my every expectations.

It was so good, I watched it TWICE! Yeah, I know I am such a sucker for Donnie.

The movie was set in Foshan (Wong Fei Hung's kampung) during the 1930s. During the time, Foshan was thriving under the economic boom & the affluent residents took up martial arts as a hobby.

The bustling town centre even has its own Martial Arts Street where countless martial arts school are situated in close proximity to one another. Each specialising in a different sect of kung fu.

Little known fact #1 : Ip Man can kill 2 stones with 1 bird

Ip Man (Donnie Yen) though isn't the master of any of them. Rather he is an aristocrat who lives in a Western style bungalow, and did not seem to need to work for a living.

He spends all his time practicing Wing Chun much to the chagrin of his wife.

Little known fact #2 : Ip Man can sneeze with his eyes open
& lick his own elbow

Now, when it comes to acting I didn't expect much from Donnie. But as Ip Man, he is unbelievably restrained & subtle, even funny. This just proves that miracles do happen during the festive season.

In the 1st half of the movie, we saw Ip Man taking on opponents in a mostly friendly manner. Carefully making sure to get his wife's approval through eye contact beforehand.

Then, the Sino-Japanese war broke out. The once bustling city was devastated. Food were scarce under the harsh Japanese rule. The Chinese are fragmented in spirit & martial arts became the unifying force. Sounds familiar huh?

Little known fact #3 :When Ip Man smokes, the cigarette gets cancer

The storyline may be generic but the usually cardboard villains get a more sympathetic treatment here.

The story is quite engaging but we all came to see some serious butt kicking. And it doesn't take long for that to happen on screen.

The fights are the best I have seen for a very long time. Absolutely jaw dropping stuff.

Little known fact #4 :Ip Man is so fast, he can run around the world
& punch himself in the back of the head

The Wing Chun style is authentic, distinctive & a joy to watch on screen. Those machine gun like punches still amazed me even on repeated viewings.

The fights can be brutal & bloody. But the amazing choreography from Sammo Hung makes it all look like poetry in motion. Those evil Japanese deserves them anyway.

Little known fact #5 : During WW2, the leading causes of
death of Japanese are....1. Heart disease, 2. Ip Man, 3.Cancer

Against Ip Man, the Japanese karate exponents doesn't even stand a chance. During 1 particular scene, he took on 10 of them & leave a pile of bodies behind (a nice homage to Bruce Lee's similar scene in Fist of Fury)

Ip Man is like a one man army. How the Chinese lost the war against the Japanese is beyond me.

Donnie faints after hearing that Tony Leung is going to play Ip Man.

Well, this is not the only biopic on the Grandmaster. Wong Kar Wai is said to be making a movie about Ip Man with Tony Leung playing the title character. This must be some kind of joke. C'mon Tony? The last thing I wanted to see is Ip Man butt naked!

Anyway, a sequel this time with Donnie Yen reprising the role is currently in the works as well. I am excited already.

As you have probably noticed, I am struggling to fit in more hyperboles to describe the film. So, if you are just going to watch 2 movies before the year ends, watch Ip Man TWICE!


Johnny Ong said...

ok ok ....... will be looking for the dvd

Lisa said...

and malaysia has cicak man

Jason Law said...

now cick man 2 !
hmm...may want to watch the IP at cinema if possible XD

Harmony said...

Heh ... IP man ftw!

Andrew said...

Yes!! It's a super fantastic movie!! which also surpassed way beyond my expectation!!! A movie I enjoyed very much!! *cheerios* to that!! owh yea, Wishing you a great festive season and happy 2009 too!! =D

foongpc said...

I was looking forward to watch Ip Man with both my niece and nephews when I realised it was rated 18SG. Well, too bad! Will have to watch this next week!

Btw, where you get these little known facts about Ip Man? I'm sure you're kidding right? They are hilarious! : )

Tony Leung as Ip Man? Gosh, who is going to be his stunt double?

Simon Ho said...

merry xmas to you too!! haha. Ip Man kicks ass man. after but watching that i sooo want to be a chinaman. donnie yen fights so effortlessly and i don't think Tony Leung can ever be Ip Man like Donnie.

acura said...

johnny : yeah, better grab 1 when it comes out

lisa & jason : Haha how can I forget our very own Cicak Man. It even has a sequel!

Keluang Man deserves an honourary mention too.

andrew : one of the best martial arts movie in a long time

foong : I went with my sis who is 16 years old. She managed to sneak in because there is a long queue behind us & the guy checking the tickets isn't very strict ;)

Oh...those little known facts are taken & modified from Chuck Norris facts. The original ones are more hilarious.

simon : there is no better way to stir up Chinese patriotism than giving the Japanese some good butt kicking.

The Chinese always win in such movies

Bob said...

Did they do a fast forward on the punches?

Actually, they can work this Donnie Yen - Ip Man to death like they did to Wong Fei Hong - Jet Li.

But, how to transcend it from semi-real to fiction/legend? Hmmm...

For those who missed flashpoint, you can view it here at

Pete said...

Ha ha, cute review of the movie.

Kuan Yew said...

THat's one great funny post! I liked the umbrella post too!

Yup yup I think IP man (my friends actually call it I. P. Man-oh god)

as if Donnie's place of residence is

Fushan province


And thanks for the tip that guy is Fan siu wong! I never noticed he is the same guy who helmed the HK drama series of WOng Fei Hung's dad- Wong Kei ying!

He appears to have grown in size and girth! for his old pics look here

Those are the faces I know, not the current jin shan zhao!

oh and I especially like his expletive "nai nai de"- so remisniscent of a childhood expletive used by friends and family. haha..

and er... no I'm not from China
I hail from Muar, Johor if you're wondering...

I am tempted to watch it twice too! :-)

Nice blog! HAve a nice christmas!

acura said...

bob : I don't think they fast forward the punches. Donnie did say he trained for months for his role in the movie. So what you see is all authentic.

Yeah, I think this film will cement his status as a martial arts leading man. It's long overdue too. He has been playing 2nd fiddle to Jackie & Jet Li for years.

If they made a bunch of films on Ip Man, I will be most happy ;)

pete : thanks hehe

acura said...

kuan yew : some of my friends are pronouncing it wrongly, like he was some kind of superhero haha

Good to know Fan Siu Wong is given such prominent role to display his skills, rather than being wasted in TVB dramas.

The expletive coupled with his blur expression is just so funny. It's good that you clarify, I was wondering whether you hail from the same Northern province as the character haha

Loke said...

i also want to watch this movie. donnie yen is soooooooo leng chai. anyway let see if i got dates taking me to watch this show...

discovery channel is going to show a documentary on puyi. would be nteresting to watch it. oh the comunist spy? i think i know which one u r talking about. it's about a woman and then cabut to the UK?

anyway ... i found another female spy biography. so tempted to buy.

do u buy books?

happy new year.


~Wong~ said...

alamak, donnie yen? Been seeing him in kung fu movies when I was small la.. the deep impression of the "bad guy with no acting talent" has been deeply ingrained for some time. So.. its a bit sceptical for me to watch it.. haha... mayb i'll watch the pirated version if i'd got the time. :P

anyway, his moves can't be fake/fast forwarded since he's already a renowned movie martial artist. All actors who had acted as the strongest villain in kung fu movies are all of the real stuff, since they are not hired for their pretty faces..n_n

1minutefilmreview said...

Looks good, will watch it.

acura said...

renaye : Donnie definitely looks better than his Dragon Tiger Gate days & surprisingly kept his clothes on throughout the movie haha

wong : I know I know, I remembered him for his role as General Lan in Once Upon a Time in China 2, his final battle with Jet Li is one of the best.

Finally, he can now be a martial arts leading man. Not bad for someone who used to play a villain eh?

foongpc said...

Dear acura,

As the end of 2008 is drawing near,
Gone are Santa and his reindeers,
And we all switch to high gears,
To celebrate the countdown of the coming year.

I want to let you know you’re a great blogger,
So much so that I’ve made myself your Follower,
It does not matter whether you are far or near,
You’ve brought me much laughters and tears.

So before you get drunk with that last glass of beer,
Waiting for 2009 to appear,
Let me wish you now and here,
A very happy & smashing new year!!

: )

Xendee Wong said...

Hi Kah Meng,Happy New Year 2009 ;)

Tekkaus said...

Now that I have read your review...then I must go watch it! Anyway happy new year 2009! =)

Kuan Yew said...

Happy New year!!!!

And I'm waiting for you to update your blog for more guffaws and more enlightening experiences!

oh and also please pardon me for for the mini-lecture I gave as a reply to your latest comment..

Medie007 said...


it's like my most favourite-est movie in 2008. ever! :P

not that i remembered any of the good movies i watched throughout the year though. mamma mia was down the drain cuz i watched with much trouble and heart-ache back then. not fair for the movie i know. but hey...

that just gave Ip Man the reason to be the best movie in 2008!

QuaChee said...

everyone seem to like this movie... i guess i got to get the dvd someday :)

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