Saturday, August 31 2013, 04:00 PM MDT
Movie Review: The Grandmaster
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: Wong Kar-Wai
Starring: Tony Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Jin Zhang
Genre: Action, Drama, Biography
Recommended To: Fans of Chinese cinema, beautiful cinematography a touch of romance and a splash of martial-arts action thrown in for good measure.
Synopsis: The life story of Wing Chun (Tony Leung), the grandmaster known as Ip Man, and his relationship with Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi), the beautiful daughter of martial arts master Gong Yutian.
Review: In the West Wing Chun is primarily known as the master who taught Bruce Lee. In China he is very much a legend, rather than a footnote. There are numerous films that have been based on Wing Chun's life, but none that I have seen look or feel like The Grandmaster.
Like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Grandmaster is as much an art house film as it is a martial arts movie. Director Wong Kar-Wai has long been known for films filled with unfulfilled romance and gorgeous cinematography and this film is no different. The fight sequences are beautifully choreographed and while they do lack the sort of kinetic violence that typically dominates martial arts films they are still thrilling to behold.
Those looking for a more aggressive version of Wing Chun's story will probably prefer the 2008s Ip Man starring Donnie Yen. As a huge fan of Wong Kar-Wai's films I prefer his more experimental approach to the story that focuses more on the characters than it does on the martial arts.
-Ryan Michael Painter