Why did the Wing Chun (a martial art style) grandmaster Ip Man, gain so much popularity over the past few years, resulting in the production of several films inspired by his life story? I haven't a clue. Yes, Ip Man had Bruce Lee as a student, but that is, by now, old news. At any rate, this latest version, titled The Grandmaster so to prevent confusion with previous films about the Man, is heavy on melodrama, dedicating more attention to styled visuals than to telling a story.
Directed and written by Wong Kar-wai and starring Tony Leung as Ip Man and Zhang Ziyi as Gong Er, The Grandmaster is likely to be enjoyed more by martial arts enthusiasts than the general audience. The fight scenes are beautifully choreographed, even if, remaining true to the Chinese martial arts film genre, mostly unreal. Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi present credible acting, though, under superior direction I suspect it could have been even better.
With one too many stylized shots and endless slow-motion sequences, let's just say that I was glad the film version I saw was the shorter 108 min one, and not the full Chinese Cut that runs 130 min, as even in its shorter version this film felt too long.