Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Martial Arts Movie Reviews: Donnie Yen's Ip Man movie and Scott Adkins' Ninja movie

Ip Man, and Ip Man 2, is awesome

I recently saw two martial arts movies on DVD: Ip Man and Ip Man 2, an epic semi-biographical story of Bruce Lee's mentor and teacher. In both movies, Donnie Yen excellently plays the revered wing chun master. In the first movie, he stands up for his nation against the Japanese through martial arts competitions and in the second movie, he proved to the British that the Chinese fighting styles were more than equal to western boxing when he defeated an English boxing champion.

For gōngfu (kung fu), karate, and fans of other martial arts styles, these two Chinese films are incredible not only because of the action sequences but because of the writers' and director's ability to bring you into the historical context of the scenes.

For someone like me, whose late grandfather fought against the imperialistic Japanese in World War II, I appreciated the historical backdrop. According to China Daily, it seems I'm not the only one though. In Hong Kong for instance, Iron Man 2 was released in theaters about the same time as Ip Man 2. Ip Man 2 pulled in 28 million yuan vs. Iron Man 2's 7 million yuan.

Scott Adkins' Ninja

The other new martial arts movie that I saw this week was Ninja, starring English actor Scott Adkins. I have to be honest, anytime I see a white man trying to play ninja, I'm skeptical. But watching this film, Adkins proves he can out kick and out maneuver the best of them.

This film's plot was somewhat mediocre. For instance, the whole templars/world domination deal wasn't too realistic. It seems like it was a bad remake of the Foot Clan storyline from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. However, this movie's action sequences were phenomenal and Adkins really applied himself in some acrobatic/gymnastics moves.


If you are a martial arts practitioner, I'm sure you will enjoy watching these movies; however, there are some scenes that are not applicable for children. Hence, have your fast forward button ready and make sure you don't have children around when objectionable material is there.

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