The Legend Is Born: Ip Man


Action / Biography / Drama / History / Sport


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January 27, 2012 at 01:00 PM



Sammo Kam-Bo Hung as Chan Wah Shun
Siu-Wong Fan as Yip Tin Chi
Biao Yuen as Ng Chung So
599.44 MB
Not Rated
23.976 fps
1hr 40 min
P/S 9 / 72

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dusan-22 6 / 10

Cute but not close to Ip Man I and II

I was not disappointed by this movie and certainly was entertained, but this is not a close match to the sequels with Donnie Yen. This actor is good as Ip Man but not a close match to Donnie Yen who was simply amazing. I understand that this was an early period of Ip Man's life so it had to be played by another actor, but I guess I am not the only one who would like to see one more sequel with Donnie. Everything else in this movie is somehow inferior to the previous two: composition, plot development and camera. While first two parts are slowly developing the core of the main conflict this one presents them by parts step by step making the movie somehow last tense and more slow. Pretty good acting must say. All in all, pretty good entertainment.

Reviewed by msia91 4 / 10

A prequel that's high on action and little on almost everything else.

With the huge successes of "Ip Man" and the latest sequel, it's no surprise that the producers are cashing-in on their success, and therefore making a prequel. However, despite some solid moments, the film never really comes together, save for the action.

Now Dennis To is no Donnie Yen. He can fight, but that's about it. Yen can fight AND act with ease, while To, playing the lead instead of minor roles in the previous two, is as bland as a doorknob. One can never feel that he is in danger, or feel with his character as he delivers a boring and uninspired performance as pre-Grandmaster Ip Man. I wish I can't say the same for the other new actors,, they really screwed up with the young cast. Many actors from the previous two movies return, including Sammo Hung and Louis Fan - but they both play different characters. Yuen Biao is a new addition to the franchise, but what stands out is a very nice special appearance by Ip Chun, the eldest son of the real Ip Man. Together these supporting actors make the best of what they are given.

But where they mostly fail with the actors, they make up for it in the fight sequences. The fights are fast-paced and well-choreographed, but they seem to make up the bulk of the movie; in fact this movie is basically all fight, little substance. Granted, they are well handled but basically you've seen it all before and the sequences look quite bland until the final act where it really heats up. But story wise, it's basically nothing, it serves as an excuse to see more fights and I think has practically nothing to do with the real Ip Man's history. And the music score is bland and uninspired as well - the songs on the other hand is atrociously arranged. Production design and cinematography however are great.

In short, it's an-OK time waster, it's not bad to kill an hour and a half, but it's something one wouldn't want to see again. See this as a temporary action/Wing Chin rush.

Entertainment value: 7/10

Overall: 5.5/10

Reviewed by billleung 10 / 10

A hidden masterpiece

Based on some of the reviews, I feel this film is misunderstood.

It is somewhat harsh to compare Yu-Hang (Dennis) To's to Donnie Yen's portrayal of Ip Man because Donnie has been an actor for a long time. From a martial arts standpoint, Donnie's portrayal of Wing Chun in his two Ip Man films were often not a correct rendition of the form, as he had no Wing Chun background, but took a crash course just prior to filming and his fights in the film were often not Wing Chun. What we saw on Donnie's Ip Man films were more arts than reality of Wing Chun combat techniques.

On the other hand, Dennis To is a Wing Chun champion in Hong Kong and is not an actor by background. He might lack acting prowess but he more than makes it up in Wing Chun abilities.

Dennis was correctly portraying Wing Chun techniques in the film, especially the lesser known Wing Chun moves, such as the high kicks, use of knives and staff. Dennis is the pupil of the director of this film, who himself is also trained in Wing Chun and is the pupil of Ip Chun and he wanted a true exposition of the real Wing Chun combat techniques in this film through his pupil Dennis To, and which Dennis loyally exhibited the form to his master's delight.

The Wing Chun sparring scene between Ip Chun and Dennis is a masterpiece, so was the sparring between Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao (he was one of the doubles for Bruce Lee in Game of Death when he died). Incidentally, both Sammo and Yuen Biao are older pupils from the same master as Donnie Yen, so they are 'colleagues'.

One should view The Legend is Born: Ip Man in this context to appreciate what we saw in Donnie Yen's Wing Chun are often fancy moves and not real Wing Chun, while we saw a far more accurate rendition of its techniques here by Dennis To.

Hopefully, one can appreciate the finer qualities of this film which it truly deserves.

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