13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Ip Man [DVD]  (DVD)
Despite loving this film and giving it 5 stars, I'd like to contradict other reviews and say that this is not first and foremost a martial arts film, so if you are looking for a simple action movie and don't want to think, look elsewhere. If however, you are looking for a beautifully crafted, cinematic gem then watch Ip Man. For me, the focus of the film was the superb acting skill of Yen in the title role. His gentle demeanour and exquisite expression lift this film above the norm. It is primarily the story of a man of peace and humanity, plunged into the chaos of war and fighting only to protect his family, friends and country. The cinematography is beautiful and the use of colour for the opening hour, switching to an almost black and white feel punctuated by the red of the Japanese flag as a counterpoint during the latter stages when Japan invade and occupy China, is a powerful visual move. The film has moments of humour and pathos and some scenes which will bring a tear to the eye. Yes, the fight scenes are amazing and beautifully choreographed and performed but do not overly dominate what is essentially a story of the triumph of the human spirit. The film has obvious political messages in it's style and particularly at the end, which extols the virtues of China and the Chinese people to the extent that it has an undertone o communist propaganda, but it does not detract from what is a brilliant movie.