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Movie: The Legend is Born: Ip Man (叶问前传) (2010)

The Legend is Born: Ip Man (叶问前传) (2010) is a martial art movie from Hong Kong. The storyline takes place before Ip Man & Ip Man 2, chronicling the early days of Wing Chun's existence in Foshan, China and Ip Man's younger days. So, this movie is in fact, a prequel* to Ip Man 1 & Ip Man 2.

Note: This movie is produced without Donnie Yen and Raymond Wong.

There are a few subplots in this movie.

#1: Ip Man (Dennis To Yu-Hang) learns Wing Chun since young in Foshan from Master Chan Wah Shun (Sammo Hung). His adopted brother, Tin Chi (Louis Fan Siu-Wong) is also learning the martial art. After Master Chan passed away, the oldest disciple, Chung Sok (Yuen Biao) carries on the responsibility of the furtherance of Wing Chun.

#2: While studying at St. Stephen's College in Hong Kong, Ip Man meets
Leung Bik (Ip Chun) and learns a modified form of Wing Chun, which proves to be of great improvement from the traditional form he learned in Foshan.

#3: Romance blossoms between Ip Man and the deputy mayor's eldest daughter, Wing Sing. At the same time, Tin Chi loves Mei Wai who happens to have a crush on Ip Man.

#4: Nationalism. Some Japanese factors are inserted to spice up the movie. Catch Bernice Liu in action as a Japanese ninja warrior.

"Without change, how can there be progress?" With this spirit, the legendary Grandmaster Ip Man is born.

Generally, as a prequel, this movie focuses on the early life of Ip Man without putting too much emphasis on fighting scenes. Not only so, an interesting side note is the exploration of the different schools of Wing Chun. Another interesting fact is the appearance of Ip Chun (Ip Man's eldest son), now an elderly man as Leung Bik, the master who develops the modified form of Wing Chun.

About the actors, it's a pity that Dennis To's performance as Ip Man seems to be overshadowed by Donnie Yen's success. Louis Fan gives a rivaling performance as Tin Chi, Ip Man's adopted brother. In Ip Man and Ip Man 2, he plays a different character as Jin Shan-zhao. Sammo Hung who plays a dramatic role in Ip Man 2 as Master Hung Chang Nam appears briefly in this movie as Master Chan Wah Shun, having a short fighting scene with his disciple, Chung Sok (Yuen Biao) - as seen on the movie poster.

If you're a fan of Ip Man, you might like this movie. :)

2 comments

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