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UK: Showbox Entertainment
Cast: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan
Director: Wilson Yip
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese (English subtitles)
UK: 106 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains moderate martial arts violence and bloody injury
UK Release Date: 2 October 2009 (Limited Release)
A huge hit in China and Hong Kong, this drama based on the life of Ip Man - the martial arts master who trained Bruce Lee - is captivating. The charismatic Donnie Yen plays the lead in this period tale set against the backdrop of the second Sino-Japanese War during the 1930s, and Johnnie To favourite Simon Yam also stars.
Bringing to life the brutality of the infamous Japanese occupation, one man rises to the fore, Grandmaster Ip Man (Donnie Yen), a Wing Chun impresario, whose matchless fighting skill is revered all over China. Upon refusing to teach his beloved fighting art to the invading Japanese soldiers, he is forced to fight for the honour of his country in a series of battles that will culminate in a kill or be killed showdown with Japan's greatest fighter.
Director Wilson Yip brings his customary dynamism to proceedings, although the man who really pulls it all together is the legendary Sammo Hung. His work here as action choreographer won a Hong Kong Film Award, as did the film itself.