May 8, 2023 (NYC)– Young Ip Man is a Blast!. Ip Man has become one of the great Chinese exports, and the subject of numerous films, of the last decade and a half, and the world can not get enough of these action packed, loosely based bio-pics. Young Ip Man (2023), is the latest film in a series of stories about the life and legacy of Bruce Lee’s legendary Wing Chu Master, Ip Man, to hit the US market this month. Here is a synopsis and review of this Well Go USA Entertainment release.
After an escaped convict infiltrates his school and holds all the students for ransom, a young Ip Man confronts the kidnappers head on. However, he soon finds himself in the middle of a dangerous conspiracy involving local authorities as well as some of the last people he would ever have expected to be part of the heinous plot.
In prior reviews we have discussed how Ip Man is one of the great Chinese exports of the 21st Century. Following the overwhelming success of the Donnie Yen Ip Man films there have been a series of Ip Man related projects that have hit the marketplace. We have reviewed many of them. Young Ip Man is the latest film about the famed teacher of Bruce Lee to be released by Well Go USA, and it is a blast.
The film centers around a revenge plot against a Hong Kong Police Commissioner and his family, which manifests itself in a kidnap plot at the Commissioner’s son’s school-which happens to be attended by Young Ip Man. The twist in the plot, which is not a spoiler, is that the villain happens to be Ip Man’s own Wing Chun Master.
The film is a tightly shot action film, with an undertone of humor, and themes that are interwoven in many modern Chinese made martial arts films. The Direction by Li Liming, Ip Man: Kung Fu Master, very good. Similar to that film, this one succeeds on the strength of two things: the leading actor and the fight choreography.
Zhao Wenhao stars as Young Ip Man. He does a good job of channeling the characteristics of Donnie Yen and Dennis To, in younger form. He is likeable and charming in a role that leaves him vulnerable to comparison to great martial arts movie stars. He holds his own, for sure.
More significantly, the film has some exciting, interesting, and visually pleasing martial arts fight choreography. The use of weapons and multi-person attacks and defenses is really quite stunning. I found myself riveted by the action in this unique film.
To be clear, Ip Man as a film subject has morphed into more of a character than a mortal man. While the Yen films were grounded in the life of this legendary Kung Fu teacher and master, the subsequent films use his persona, rather than his life as the centerpiece of wild Kung-fu tales. The stories of Ip Man, like this, could be any martial arts character; howber, tying them to Ip Man drives international interest. The movie industry has elevated Ip Man to a status second only to Bruce Lee in modern martial arts cinema.
The supporting cast in this one is very good. They all play their roles adeptly, and in support of Wenhao’s lead.
The cinematography is visually stunning. It has a very clean and appealing look.
Young Ip Man is a good way to spend 80 minutes. We highly recommend it.
This film surprised me and I think it will surprise martial arts film fans, whether you have seen other Ip Man films or not.
The Wuxia-Infused martial arts drama YOUNG IP MAN, debuting on Hi-YAH! April 28 and on Blu-ray™ & DVD May 16 from your friends at Well Go USA.
The film contains English subtitles.
Watch Young Ip Man early on Hi-YAH! (available April 28, 2023)