This week’s offering for Netflix Friday is a foreign movie with subtitles. It’s entitled, “Ip Man” and it is based on a true account of a legendary Kung Fu Master, Ip. (Yes, that is his name, Ip.) I must confess to not paying attention to the Netflix description (see below) and selecting this movie because I like Kung Fu movies. Shallow, I know, but there you have it.
Imagine my surprise at discovering the movie was in a foreign language. My experience with subtitled foreign films is not a particularly good one. I can tell you that the last movie of this type I saw… and enjoyed too… was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and that may be the only reason I continue with this one. I wasn’t disappointed in the least.
This is a fabulous movie with an engaging story and action sequences that will entertain. It’s not bloody as this genre is given too nor terribly violent, even though bad guy get what is coming to them.The star, Donnie Yen should be recognizable as he has appeared in other well known Kung Fu productions, as does most of the stars of this film. One thing I will say is that when you can watch a movie in it’s original language, it is only then you can appreciate the acting talents for foreign stars. Dubbed movies just don’t do it for me.
One Japanese star, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, gave a convincing performance as a General with a side passion for Kung Fu. In his real life Ikeuchi is a practitioner of Judo.
Ka Tung Lam plays a willing translator for the Japanese occupiers, though conflicted. In the end he redeems himself through careful mistranslations.
The Netflix description is below:
“An occupying Japanese general (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi) challenges Chinese men to duels so he can prove the superiority of the Japanese. Ip Man (Donnie Yen) — a Chinese martial arts master forced to work in the mines — refuses to fight, but can resist for only so long. Revisit the early days of Ip Man, who gained later fame as an early trainer of Bruce Lee, in director Wilson Yip’s action-packed biopic set during the Sino-Japanese War.”
I hope you’ll let us know how you liked it.