During this Christmas and New Year, I’ve watched two movies in the cinema. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Ip Man 3”. They are both sequel, and it is tough to make it as good as all previous ones. To me they both did a good job to maintain the quality of the story.
Let’s talk about Ip Man today!
I am not really after Chinese / Cantonese movie, I was not aware of “Ip Man” when it was out, also not a big fan of Donnie Yen, maybe that’s why. I still remembered I was travelling on the plane few years ago, almost watched all the movies, why not watch “Ip Man”? As I heard that it’s good. Not expecting that much, but I was stunned by the movie. Love the way how Donnie fights, but most importantly is the spirit behind. Somehow, it reminds me that I AM CHINESE! The way how humble Ip Man is, his philosophy, the rules of conduct about kung fu practice, how he cares about people, being helpful and not asking for return. This reminds me a lot how my father always taught me when I was a kid. Such spirit has always been kept in the sequel. I’ve changed my perception towards Donnie Yen since then, start to follow him, and I think he is a great martial artist, after Bruce Lee and Jet Li.
Something I was not prepared this time, is the touchy part of the relationship between Ip Man and his wife. I knew one major part of the story will be talking about the relationship between them, but I did not expect is that touchy. The way how Chinese love, especially in the old days, is very subtle or suppressive. They (or we, as I am Hong Kong Chinese too…) would not express how much I love you, but we do express through small things, like cook a nice meal or fixing a shirt, that’s the way of expressing love. One scene I love very much is Wing Shing asked Ip Man to practice wooden dummy, because she loves listening to the sound. You know your loved one is there, because the sound he makes representing his existence. So subtle, but so warm.
The part I am skeptical about is the part with Mike Tyson. Why having Mike Tyson in the movie? Is it like having Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in “The Game of Death”? You need to KO someone that is a lot bigger than you, in order to show how good you are? Despite all, both Bruce Lee and Donnie Yen are good martial artist, just think they don’t need such touch in the movie, somehow is a bit cliché… Well, from the marketing point of view, for sure having Mike Tyson in the movie is going to create a lot more noise, and help to bring this movie to a different level with more Western audience.
Speaking of Bruce Lee, it is always fun to see a bit of him in the movie, in the beginning of the movie and the dancing part. Not sure if there is going to be Ip Man 4, hope to see the story between Bruce Lee and Ip Man.
Zhang Jin (also known as Max Zhang) is the one surprising me, I actually don’t remember he was in the Wong Kar Wai’s movie “The Grandmaster”. He got the look, he got the martial art background, now he also got this opportunity, guess he should be shining brighter after this! As I thought this movie is going to end with the big fighting scene with Mike Tyson, which is not and it is good in this way. To end the big fighting scene with Wing Chun vs Wing Chun, and in the end is not about who is better. Most importantly is the people around you! That reflects Ip Man’s Wing Chun Jo Fen, we need to practice our inner self to start with.
Ip Man’s Wing Chun Jo Fen
- Remain disciplined – uphold yourself ethically as a martial artist
- Practice courtesy and righteousness – serve the community and honour your family
- Love your fellow students or classmates – be united and avoid conflicts
- Limit your desires and pursuit of bodily pleasures – preserve the proper spirit
- Train diligently and make it a habit – never let the skill leave your body
- Learn to develop spiritual tranquility – abstain from arguments and fights
- Participate in society – be conservative, cultured and gentle in your manners
- Help the weak and the very young – use your martial skill for the good of humanity
- Pass on the tradition – preserve the Chinese arts and its Rules of Conduct