The Grandmaster ForeignMovie Fridays! #1

KUNG FU is not a circus Act!

In recent years we have been getting really awesome action movies with good stories as well! For instance more recently X-men Days of Future Past, Avengers, Man of Steel, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Raid 2 and the Raid Redemption to name a few of my personal favorites! Usually its we have to sacrifice one for the other either we get great action but a lackluster story or Vice Versa, but I really feel like despite its less than stellar reviews that “The Grandmaster” is one of the best and most best looking and well done action movies to come out in the last few years.


Directed by Kar Wai Wong who is known for his movies “In the mood for Love”  “My Blueberry Nights” and “2046” The Grandmaster taking place in 1920s and onward follows Ip Man (Played by Tony Leung)  narrating his life and often comparing his life to Four Seasons and the people he has come in contact with throughout his life and all of the tragedies  Now compared to the Donnie Yen Ip Man movies this Ip Man adaptation delves more into the various styles of Martial Arts and the Philosophy of them more so than the other Ip Man movies did. That is one of this movies strong points because it shows how martial arts is more than just beating someones face in (which happens a lot in The Grandmaster) but you also get to know the thought process in them and you get to see just how much precise and gentle footwork, hand motions etc…

The movie may be in all Chinese and have Subtitles galore but you can still tell and see how well it is acted out by each actor! They all have their own struggles or demons they are facing or must overcome and in one case embracing! That’s another thing The Grandmaster does really well is that it doesn’t just focus on Ip Man but more so on those around him and how they impacted him and his Martial Art. Even a character as small as the Barber actually worked and made the character Ip Man even more interesting. I actually felt for a lot of the characters. The person who stole the show for me was Ziyi Zhang who you may know from movies such as “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” “Hero” “Rush Hour 2” and “House of the Flying Daggers” She plays Gong Er who is sort of like Ip Man pseudo love interest but because (SPOILERS) of her vows she made they never become anything. She was such an amazing character she had so much style, grace, and power it made a lot of the other characters look like they were barely doing anything. When they said she never lost a fight it was believable! My favorite scene again (SPOILERS) ( I had to rewind it multiple times because its not only awesome but extremely well done!

Kar Wong has very unique style of directing, every shot has a high level of care and intensity that adds to what is going on in the scene and while the action was very fast paced I was never left saying wait what the heck just happened… I’m looking at you Transformers! Whenever I would rewind it, it would be because something amazing just happened! They do have these Matrix esc slow down moments that add another layer to the martial arts action that is going on.

Many times throughout the movie I found myself wanting pick up a controller and just start mashing buttons because you really won’t see this kind of action but in a video game! Someone should really make a game out of this!

Now as much as I could praise this movie for being The Best Realistic Martial Arts movie to come out in the year the movie isn’t without its fault really I could only find 1 but its kind of a big one! Its sometimes will jump around without giving any clear sort of context and it would take me a minute or two to realize “Oh they went to the past… Okay!” I just wish they would really just say “Hey this takes place Five years ago!” Other than that this was a Fun, Exciting, Action Packed Martial Arts movie that can be appreciated by anyone who loves a good action martial arts movie or just want to find something to watch! I would definitely recommend watching The Grandmaster!

*There is also a nice little cameo in the movie to Martial Arts fans *

You can find The Grandmaster on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube or a host of other places its definetly worth checking out! Which why I give “The Grandmaster”

9 Bruce Lee Screams out of 10

+ Amazing Action

– Odd Transitions

+ Well Acted

– A little Convoluted

+ Its a ton of Fun!

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