Ip Man (2008 Chinese movie) review


Movie: “Ip Man”
Studio: Mandarin Films Distribution Co. Ltd.
Year: 2008


I’m a huge fan of martial arts movies because of the action and spectacle. During the global lockdown, I decided to dive back into this particular series since it is a story that the world should know about and because it’s spectacular. It’s also interesting to learn about martial arts, its practitioners, and the history of it.


The story starts off in Foshan, China which is a hub of Chinese martial arts. There are lots of different schools teaching different variations of kung-fu. Each school is successful until outside invaders try to force their will and style into the city. The leader is defeated by Grandmaster Ip Man.

Later on, the story shifts to World War II when the Japanese forces take over the city and strip everyone of their land after killing thousands. This time, it is the Japanese Army that is forcing their will and way of life into Foshan. The Chinese people are struggling and are living off whatever they can.

Ip Man must help inspire those that live in the area and give them a sense of pride and hope by facing off against Japanese martial artists. He has to preserve the Chinese way of life.


The fight scenes are so awesome. Ip Man himself was amazing, but you also see his struggle to keep a roof over his family’s head and to put food on the table. He puts his pride aside for the greater good of his family after losing everything to the Japanese invaders. Martial arts is the only thing the people of Foshan have left and is the best hope of instilling hope for the future.


We see that the Japanese are clearly the antagonists in this story. However, we don’t get to dig deep into what makes them who they are. We only see them as aggressive jerks, but they too have a rich cultured history especially in martial arts. What makes a great hero is a great villain.


It was a dope movie especially since it opened our eyes to the world of Wing Chun. It also allowed us to see the beginnings of Bruce Lee’s master. It allowed people all over the world to get exposed to a legendary martial artist that they didn’t know before.

I think it also helped blow up Donnie Yen’s stock as an action star in the West. If they didn’t know who he was before, they did after the movie.

Overall rating: 4/5
Reviewed by: Timtastic

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