When people ask me about martial arts movies there are only a handful that immediately pop up into my mind, but they generally center around specific actors. One such actor is Donnie Yen, the man who helped bring the legendary Ip Man to life on the big screen. If you don’t know who Ip Man is, he’s the man who trained Bruce Lee. Suffice to say, the man is talented. I was introduced to Donnie Yen and the first Ip Man film back in 2010 and ever since then I’ve consistency recommended the film to people. The same goes with the second in the series. I only recommend the third strictly for its action.
Why do I bring this up? Because Well Go USA has released a four disc Blu-ray and DVD set of the entire series for fans to revel in. As of now, it’s the best martial arts trilogy around and a perfect gateway drug to get your friends into the foreign film scene. Even friends of mine randomly pull up the fight scenes from this movie to show how awesome Donnie Yen is. Each disc contains the feature along with a “making of” featurette, deleted scenes, and/or trailers while the fourth disc features two hours of bonus content and interviews from Ip Man 3 (which also starred Mike Tyson).
So, if you’re looking for last minute gift ideas or stocking stuffers, get the action fan in your life a copy of this trilogy. Don’t worry, they’ll thank you later.
Wing Chun grandmaster Ip (Donnie Yen) cements his reputation after defeating a roving band of kung fu masters who have come to his village to challenge him and the other marshal arts masters. But his devotion to the martial arts results in tension and discontent with his wife. When the Japanese occupy his hometown of Foshan during the Sino-Japan war (1937), Ip is forced to work as a coolie in a factory and participate in brutal sparring matches for the enemy’s amusement. He demonstrates his superior fighting skills by defeating his opponents despite being heavily outnumbered and wins the admiration of the Japanese Colonel, Mr. Miura (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi), who challenges Ip to a championship fight. The outcome of the match inspires the Chinese villagers to rise up and defeat their oppressors.
IP MAN 2
Master Ip (Donnie Yen), a new arrival in British-occupied Hong Kong, wants to open a martial arts academy to teach his unique Wing Chun style. A corrupt group of martial arts masters, led by Master Hung (Sammo Hung) refuses to allow him to teach in peace until he proves himself as a kung fu master. Ip’s trouble continues when he is forced to enter a brutal “King of the Ring” boxing match against Twister (Darren Shahlavi), a Western-style boxer who insults the Chinese locals, in a East versus West knock-down, drag-out fight to the finish.
IP MAN 3 (check out my review here)
Donnie Yen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2) ignites the screen in a return to the role that made him an icon – as Ip Man, the real-life Wing Chun grandmaster who mentored Bruce Lee. In this explosive third installment of the blockbuster martial arts series, when a band of brutal gangsters led by a crooked property developer (Mike Tyson) make a play to take over the city, Master Ip is forced to take a stand. Fists will fly as some of the most incredible fight scenes ever filmed play out on the big screen in this soon-to-be genre classic.
Starring: Donnie Yen, Lynn Hung, Mike Tyson, Sammo Hung