I honestly don’t get what the fuss over Ip Man is about, or why it warranted a bunch of knock-off movies and sequels. The martial arts scenes are so-so, the story was generic and boring, and there weren’t any hot girls in metal bikinis in it.
But the biggest problem with Ip Man is that it’s incredibly inaccurate, for a movie that is supposed to be “based on a true story”.
It seems like the only historically correct elements of the film was the fact that there was indeed a guy named Ip Man, and he was a kungfu master that lived during the Japanese occupation of China. That’s the extent of the truth in this movie.
After you get introduced to the guy in the first act of the movie, you get an entire second and third act that are entirely fictitious, where it becomes a generic story about a rich guy who becomes poor, then uses his kung fu for good. It’s like Trading Places meets Rush Hour.
Key facts that the movie got wrong:
- Ip Man did not get forced into manual labor by the Japanese.
- In fact, I think he was in Hong Kong during the war.
- He did NOT fight a Japanese general in some bullshit honor duel.
It’s understandable when filmmakers change a few things here and there in order to make a story more compelling or to get across the theme a bit better. I figured Aaron Sorkin took plenty of liberties when writing The Social Network, but those changes were probably cosmetic and nothing as drastic turning Zuckerberg into a superhero or something.
But seriously, why make a movie based on a real person if you’re not even going to remotely try to tell his real story? If you’re going to insist on deviating so far from historical facts, and putting in so much of your own ideas, why don’t you just make up your own story? You can call it “The Chinese Guy who fights a Japanese General and wins”.
That sounds like a fun movie, right? And Uwe Boll can direct it! That guy is willing to mess up any story to turn a quick buck.
Honestly, if you want a good recent kungfu movie, I’d watch either Jet Li’s Fearless or Kungfu Panda 1.