“I’m just a Chinese man.”Ip Man
A pared back martial arts film that eschews wirework and bold colours for restrained realism, Ip Man‘s strength lies in Donnie Yen’s performance as the Wing Chun master most famous for teaching Bruce Lee. Yen’s reserved style exudes humility, with subtle gestures speaking volumes in a man for whom every movement feels deliberate. Wing Chun is built on the principles of softness and flexibility allowing one to counter an opponent whilst reserving the strength to fight back. The simplistic story reflects this idea but is less interested in historical accuracy of the Japanese occupation of China than with mythologising its central character as a peaceful patriot pushed to action in defence of his countrymen. Although it contains solid action, I hope for better storytelling as the series continues.