Director:  Wong Kar-wai

Cast: Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Hye-kyo Song

Running Time: 1h 48m


Mandarin/Cantonese/Japanese with English subtitles

Synopsis:  A rich, luscious martial arts epic recounting the complicated life of Ip Man – the legendary Wing Chung grandmaster who taught Bruce Lee.



Director Wong Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love) teams up again with his frequent star Tony Leung, who depicts the life of an impassively cool martial artist. Choreographed by maestro Yuen Woo-ping (The Matrix; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), this is a sensually ravishing, enthralling and utterly beautiful portrayal of one of the world’s top martial artists.  A long time in the making, this film charts Ip Man’s early years and his development of his art until he set up his martial arts school in Hong Kong.  His life from Foshan in South China to Hong Kong was at times turbulent and his family suffered from the Japanese occupation of China during World War 2. He meets Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi) who challenges him in order to regain her family’s honour.  He moves to Hong Kong after the War and struggles to provide for his wife (Hye-kyo Song) and family.

In garish brothels, Ip hones and develops his special type of martial art – Wing Chun – uniting the north and the south styles. Meanwhile his simmering platonic longing for Gong Er lasts over decades.

With stunning cinematography from Philippe Le Sourd , an operatic score from Shigeru Umebayashi (In the Mood for Love, House of Flying Daggers, A Single Man) and Nathaniel Méchaly (Taken) and the strong performances from Leung and Zhang, Wong Kar-wai’s trademark themes and artistic mastery make this film mesmerising – whether you are interested in martial arts or not.


Images courtesy of the GFT