Released Year: 2008
Directed by 叶伟信 Wilson Yip
甄子丹 Donnie Yen as 葉問 Ip Man
池內博之 Hiroyuki Ikeuchi as 三浦將軍 Miura
任達華 Simon Yam as 周清泉 Chow Ching-chuen
熊黛林 Lynn Hung as 張永成 Cheung Wing-sing
樊少皇 Louis Fan as 金山找 Kam Shan-chu
林家棟 Gordon Lam as 李釗 Li Chiu
釋行宇 Xing Yu as 武痴林 Master Lam
黃又南 Wong You-nam as 沙膽源 Yuan
In the 1930s, Foshan is a hub of Southern Chinese martial arts, where various schools actively recruit disciples and compete against each other. Although the Wing Chun master Ip Man is the most skilled martial artist in Foshan, he is unassuming and keeps a low profile. As an independent wealthy man, he feels no need to accept any disciples and instead spends his days training, meeting with friends, and spending time with his family. However, his wife is often resentful of the time he spends training and discussing martial arts with friends and colleagues. Though not a professional martial artist, Ip is respected in Foshan due to the abilities he displays in friendly, closed-door competitions with local masters. Ip's reputation is further enhanced when he defeats an aggressive, rude, highly skilled Northern Chinese martial arts master, Jin Shanzhao, thus upholding the regional pride of fellow Southern stylists and others in Foshan.
The Japanese invasion in 1937 adversely affects the life of everyone in Foshan. Ip's house is claimed by the Japanese and used as their Foshan headquarters. Ip and his family lose their wealth and are forced to move into a decrepit house. Desperate to support his family, Ip accepts work at a coal mine. The Japanese General Miura, who is a Karate master, establishes an arena where Chinese martial artists compete with his military trainees. The Chinese earn a bag of rice for every match they win. Li Zhao, a former police officer and Ip's acquaintance, is now working as a translator for the Japanese and is making the offer to the martial artists working at the coal mine. Ip at first declines to participate in the matches. However, when his friend Lin goes missing, he agrees to take part in order to investigate. Ip arrives to see fellow Foshan martial arts master Liu executed by Miura's lieutenant, Sato, for picking up a bag of rice from a prior victory after conceding in a second match against three karateka. He also comes to understand that Lin was killed in an earlier fight. Barely able to contain his rage, Ip demands a match with ten karateka at once. Despite having not practiced Wing Chun since the invasion began (in order to conserve what little food his family had to survive), he proceeds to mercilessly crush each of them with a brutal barrage of his martial art mastery, showing none of the restraint he exhibited in previous engagements. His skill arouses the interest of Miura, who seeks to learn more about Ip and see him fight again.
Ip later visits his friend Chow Ching-chuen, who owns and runs a cotton mill in Foshan. Chow tells Ip that a bandit gang led by Jin Shanzhao is harassing his workers and trying to extort money from them. Ip trains the workers in Wing Chun for self-defense.
When Ip does not return to the arena, Miura grows impatient and sends Sato along with several soldiers to find him. The lieutenant then gestures at Ip's wife, prompting Ip to incapacitate them. When the bandits return to the cotton mill, the workers fight back using the techniques that Ip taught them. Ip himself arrives midway through the battle to take care of things personally and defeats Jin Shanzhao, warning him never to harass the workers again.
The Japanese soldiers eventually find Ip at the cotton mill. Miura tells Ip that his life will be spared if he agrees to instruct the Japanese soldiers in martial arts. Ip refuses and challenges Miura to a match, which Miura accepts, both because of his love for martial arts and because refusing the challenge would be a humiliation to the Japanese. The match between Ip and Miura is held in public in Foshan's square. At first, the two fighters seem equally matched, but Miura soon finds himself unable to penetrate Ip's impeccable defense and becomes overwhelmed by his relentless and direct blows. He is helpless to defend himself as Ip effortlessly uses him as a wooden dummy, inflicting a severe beating on him and clearly winning.
As the beaten general lies down after his defeat, Ip looks over to the cheering Chinese crowd and spots his wife and child with Chow. Enraged, Sato shoots at Ip, sparking a scuffle between the Chinese audience and the Japanese soldiers. During the scuffle, Li Zhao kills Sato with Sato's own gun. Ip is taken away amidst the chaos. The epilogue reveals that he survives and escapes to Hong Kong with his family with the help of Chow Ching-chuen. There, Ip establishes a Wing Chun school, where his students come to learn martial arts from him, including Bruce Lee.
L² Scored: 8.5/10
Sorry to all Ip Man's fans, but seriously this is only the first time ever I watch this movie :p This series of movie never really attracted me previously even though later on Mike Tyson was invited to play a role in the 3rd movie as well. But surprisingly this movie is not bad, as I thought i would have fall asleep half way through the movie but I did not...
Few of the characters in this film which i think is overspend on the budget especially Simon Yam & Lynn Hung, i mean, the movie doesn't need to pay so much for them to be in the film as the character is not really important at all. The one whom is really good, I have to say is Gordon Lam, he really acted well in here; Ikeuchi is another surprise for me, as this actor doesn't have much movies or dramas on him, he might be choosy in selecting his character & film, but i think he definitely loves his part here as he is a Judo black belt master :)