December 23, 2022 (NYC)– A Look at The Grandmaster of Kung Fu. The Grandmaster of Kung Fu, a martial arts film of Chinese origin hitting US Streaming services and for sale this month. Here is a synopsis and review of this Well Go USA Entertainment release.
The Grandmaster of Kung Fu -Near the end of the Qing Dynasty, a renowned Chinese martial artist engages in a life-or-death battle with a feared Japanese military commander in order to prevent Japan’s ultimate goal of seizing martial arts stronghold Tianjin.
The Grandmaster of Kung Fu is a prequel of sorts to Bruce Lee’s 1972 film Fist of Fury. The film involves the commencement of modern Japanese Occupation of China and the attempt to extinguish traditional Chinese martial arts practice from Chinese culture.
Dennis To, Ip Man Kung Fu Master, stars as historical figure, Master Huo Yuanjia, who fights for unity among the local Chinese Martial arts masters, and stands up to the Japanese Imperialists. He is also Kung Fu master to Chen Zhen, the character portrayed by Bruce Lee, Jet Li, and others, as a symbol of Chinese Nationalism. We see the famed, “SICK MAN OF ASIA” on prominent display in this one, literally, and figuratively.
The film has no shortage of Chinese Nationalistic themes, but I did like the fact that there is an attempt to humanize some of the Japanese characters. This is a departure from many of the anti-Japanese films produced in China about this period and about the Japanese occupation of China.
While the film is lower budget, it is well filmed and Directed. It has a clean and sharp look to it. It makes the most of what is has to work with. I like the visual imagery in this movie.
Dennis To is a talented actor and martial artist, and the film does a good job showcasing both. This film is a departure from his, almost, impression of Donnie Yen’s Ip Man. He shows here he has greater range as an actor and action star. To may be the full package- great martial arts acumen and acting chops.
The film’s fight choreography in this one is very good, and fun to watch. While it is distinctly Chinese in nature, the showcase of the Japanese Karate styles is very well done. There is also a high level of choreography using weapons.
This is an all around good martial arts movie with more than just good fighting. I recommend it highly.
The Grandmaster of Kung Fu , debuting on Digital, Blu-ray™ and DVD January 31 from Well Go USA Entertainment. A Hi-YAH! original, the film is available on the martial arts streaming service NOW.
The film contains English subtitles.
DIRECTOR: Cheng Siyu
Run Time: 75 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated- Family Oriented
Country of Origin: China