Ok it is that time again foot to face, fist to kiss, fans around the world. The NINJA MOVIE OF THE MONTH. A segment where I, Chuck Boonsweet, or my dashingly daring co-host: Ken K. Bucklesworth, dive into a flick of the kung fu variety that has crossed our paths. Here we declare whether it has inspired us to rise up to challenge evil with only our homemade nunchucks, and chocolate chip ninja stars. Or... has left us as unsatisfied as day old delivery. Enjoy Booniacs and Buckleheads!
That was my deep, bass heavy, voice inside; as I heard the news they were making yet one more movie of IP MAN. Or Yip Man, or whatever. So do you guys know about him? No. Well heck then, here's a little catch up. Turns out this guy was a master of a martial art call Wing Chun. That in itself is cool, but he also happened to be responsible for an early portion of (wait for it...) Bruce freaking Lee's training. Ya that guy. You know the most famous on screen martial artist ever (Honorable mention to Jackie, and my boy Jet). Also he that basically brought martial arts to the mainstream.
Ya. So the out of the blue, peeps decided to make a film based on his life... Appropriately titled IP MAN and it starred the insanely talented Donnie "Should be so damn famous" Yen. And well, the world went nuts for it. Then they made a sequel, and it didn't make much sense... but he was fighting Sammo Hung on a table, so I didn't care. Then they made a prequel that turned out to be AWESOME... then they made a huge artsy kung fu flick about his life... the criminally overrated (as in people who don't like street kung fu love it) GRANDMASTER. And then they said... hey, let's make another... Seriously people... this like becoming the new SAW or POLICE ACADEMY... (hows that for a film reference, booya!)
|Dammit, ok. 1 more time. I will master the handshake I swear!|
So here I am 40 minutes into this movie and funny thing... NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. No fighting. No cool Ip Man stuff. Just a lot of daytime drama. And his son narrating the film - This is my Dad. This is what my dad did. Things were bad. BLAH BLAH! And Ip Man meets a singer, falls for her, she falls for the master probably 40 years her elder... and ya. Ip Man is married, but whatever they pretty much kick her and his son out of the story. Well except for the voice over...
|In case you're wondering. Be prepared for that face for 100 minutes|
Then a really cool fight happens with another master. Sweet. It's all one on one... with eager students watching to see who the victor is... through the door... ? Wait a sec. I've seen that before. Ya, that really cool scene of master vs Master in IP MAN #1. What the hell?! Am I suppose to be all - Wow that's just like that other cool movie, this movie is so cool. Cause if I was, plan failed. Because all I am now thinking at this point of the movie is... shit that other movie was so much better.
Ah listen this is a 100 minute flick with I would say rough estimate 7 minutes of action in it. Maybe 7 and a half. Ya. That's a true story. And the last fight makes no real sense, and you're not really invested, because... they set it up so fast and without any build up that you kind of lose the moment. But hey, they do have a shot of the good guys looking all badass in the ran...
So, there's that.
So to recap. Big martial arts film. Almost no martial arts. Showdown is all right but so short its sad. Acting is blah. They make Ip Man out to be an emotionless wall. They drop Bruce Lee in there at the end to remind you - hey that's right this movie is about... ah I don't care.
No more. I am done watching anything based on this man's life. Like Gandhi doesn't even have this many films about him. Freaking Gandhi! And IP Man got 5 in 6 years. Anyway. By this point they have completely shit on the legacy of the first film, and dare I say the pure fun of the original sequel and prequel.
Anthony Wong. Did you learn nothing from watching The Grandmaster ? One expression acting is never good. Ever. Unless you are making an action film, between the years of 1981 and 1994.
Movie Scale 1 out of 5 stars
Ninja Movie scale 1 out of 5 stars
There is better out there if you need to fix your Ninja, chop sockey cravings. Hell, check our NMOTH archives