Plot: A semi-biographical account of Yip Man, the celebrated martial arts master of Bruce Lee, and the first to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun openly. The film focuses on events surrounding Ip that took place in the prefecture-level city of Foshan between the 1930s to 1940s during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
The film's budget is an estimated HK$40 million (US$5 million).
Opening box office in China was ranked second place after the Chinese biopic, Forever Enthralled, and has since grossed over CNY$100 million (US$14,705,882). In Hong Kong Ip Man came in first place grossing nearly HK$4.5 million (US$579,715), having been released in 37 screens.
Ip Man is the first film to be based on the life of the martial artist.
Ip Man's eldest son, Ip Chun and his student Leo Au Yeung served as technical consultants for the film (providing advice on story and fight choreography).
Shooting took place in Shanghai, which was used to architecturally recreate Foshan.
The martial arts scenes were choreographed by Sammo Hung, who had previously collaborated with Wilson Yip and Donnie Yen as an actor for the 2005 film SPL: Sha Po Lang.
Yen has described the role being the most difficult in his career, both emotionally and mentally. He spent months preparing for the role, by going on a strict diet which consisted of mainly vegetables and eating one meal a day, training in Wing Chun, and learning more about Ip Man through his two sons. He even went as far as to stay in character after filming, wearing his costume and changing his voice and movement patterns.
Producer Raymond Wong had revealed that the sequel, tentatively titled Ip Man 2 would continue Ip Man's story, focusing on his migration to Hong Kong and his four disciples which includes Bruce Lee to propagate his discipline of Wing Chun. Bruce Lee would also be a major character in the film. The sequel's budget is an estimated HK$40 million, and Mandarin Films is aiming for a release towards the end of 2010.
«If the spirit of martial arts is just as important as its form, then this movie captures perfectly both the spirit of the master Ip Man as well as the art of Wing Chun. Indeed, Ip Man the movie is not just thrilling and exciting, it is moving and affecting.»
«Being a biopic, of course the main focus is on Ip Man, although there are a couple of other interesting characters that get screen time. Most notably, there is a Chinese cop turned Japanese translator (and perceived traitor) played by Ka Tung Lam, who probably has the film’s deepest character arc.»
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