2000s Ip Man (2008)

Published on July 5th, 2012 | by Chris


Ip Man (2008)

Review of: Ip Man (2008)

Reviewed by:
On July 5, 2012
Last modified:October 3, 2012


a relevant and somewhat inspiring story, and an all around good movie.

Ip Man (2008)No, Ip Man isn't about some packet-routing internet super hero from the future.  It's a strange hybrid of kung fu and war movie, with a twist that (unless you already know it, I didn't!) you won't see coming.

Based in the Chinese city of Fu Shan in 1938, the film starts in a rather traditional "kung fu" style of movie.  Matter of fact I was starting to wonder if I should just turn it off altogether (even though it was still pretty good!)  Ip Man (Donnie Yen) is the top martial arts instructor in Fu Shan, staving off the incursions of roaming bands of challengers such as Jin (Siu-Wong Fan) and generally being a good responsible citizen.

Then the Japanese invade and turn everyone's lives upside down.  Eventually, General Miura (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi) begins calling for challengers to his Japanese martial arts students, and eventually, himself.  Inevitably, Ip Man takes up the call, and ultimately defeats General Miura in a public display, restoring some semblence of honor to Fu Shan.  (Oh, come on, like you didn't see that coming!)

But the real "Oh, really?!" moment comes when you learn that Ip Man was in fact a real person, and that this was based on a real story.  Ip Man in fact started one of the most revered school's of the Wing Chun school of martial arts in Hong Kong, and would later be known as one of Bruce Lee's instructors.  Not bad.

So, it is not a traditional war movie in any respect.  In fact it mostly adheres to the usual "kung fu movie" model.  But it's still a relevant and somewhat inspiring story, and an all around good movie.

Oh, and former Jackie Chan conspirator Sammo Hung takes up a role as action director, and does not disappoint.  Also going to give a solid 7/10.

Ip Man (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] Ip Man (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]
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Ip Man Collector's Edition (containing over 2 hours of bonus footage) is an award winning adaptation based on the life of Ip Man (Donnie Yen), the grandmaster of Wing Chun and later teacher and mentor to widely influential and legendary martial artist, Bruce Lee...

DVD Information

Binding: Blu-ray
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Manufacturer: Well Go USA
Original Release Date:
  • Donnie Yen
  • Simon Yam
  • Fan Siu-Wong
  • Lynn Hung
  • Hiroyuki Ikeuchi


  • Run Time: 134
  • Release Date: 7/27/2010


Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Chinese Martial Arts Film, October 25, 2015
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This review is from: Ip Man (DVD)
In 1981 aged 7, my mother took me to the film theatre in Nairobi, Kenya. The matinée film was "The China Town Kid" starring Alexander Fu Sheng. During this action packed martial arts movie I was so excited that I stood up in the theatre and asked "Is that Bruce Lee?" Embarrassed but delighted my Mum gently pulled me down without responding. Then and there I fell in love with chinese martial arts.

Fast forward over 30 years later and many martial arts in between until "Ip Man". I have bought this movie from Amazon over 5 times to give to friends. I have never bought a movie 5 times; the closest was "Good Will Hunting" 3 times. As I write this, I am awaiting a neighbour to get less busy and invite me to his place for coffee and cakes. And guess what I am taking along? You got that right: Ip Man. And guess what I'll watch during the christmas season along with other old classics, Ip Man.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, HORRIFIC TRANSFER AND DVD..., December 4, 2009
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Let's get one thing out of the way, this is definitely one of the best choreographed Kung Fu movies of the year (at least for me!) It's good to see that Sammo Hung still has it when creating these fights!

Let's get another thing out of the way:

Loves: Great fights WITHOUT wires (i.e. Hate Wire-Fu)
Likes: Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Martial Arts

Ip Man is a semi-biopic of the Wing Chun style Grand Master of the same name. The plot, well, as with many Kung Fu movies, is all about Kung Fu schools, political intrigue and... well... that's basically it! For being a biopic they don't really delve too much in Ip Man's life but more on the setting... which takes place during the Japanese Invasion (1930-ish). So, ho-hum plot, check. But we don't watch these types of movies for the plot, we watch them for the action and this one delivers! I believe this movie tested Donnie Yen's mastery of martial arts more than any other movie before this one because I'm sure... Read more
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5.0 out of 5 stars Donnie Yen gets his due, November 12, 2009
T. Coonen (Seattle) - See all my reviews
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It seems the director Yip Wai Shun is almost single-handedly resurrecting Chinese martial arts cinema and key to his success is his use of actual martial artists for whom he seems to have a healthy measure of respect. Three such artists are Jacky Wu, Sammo Hung and Donnie Yen. Sammo here does the action direction/ choreography and he knows what he's doing just as he knows his Wing Chun. Yip Wai Shun knows how to tell a story and keeps the cinematography crisp and clear without making of it the trickster that's suppose to wow fans but only illustrates how ridiculous martial arts movies can get. Shun also relies on the tireless natural acting talent of Simon Yam. But the great success here, in my view, is in the seemingly ageless Donnie Yen. Every long time Hong Kong action fan knows Donnie Yen unfairly overflows with natural talent and a work ethic few are inclined to emulate. But for some reason, movie makers seem not to have known or cared and unlike Jackie Chan and Jet Li who... Read more
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Ip Man (2008) Chris

Summary: a relevant and somewhat inspiring story, and an all around good movie.


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)

About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.

One Response to Ip Man (2008)

  1. the war movie buff says:

    One of my students insisted I watch it and brought me a copy. I have to say I was not impressed.

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