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葉問前傳 (2010)
The Legend Is Born - Ip Man

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 05/21/2012
Summary: good companion to previous films

This martial arts biopic follows the early years of Ip Man, the master who would one day become Bruce Lee's mentor, as he perfects his Wing Chun style of combat against a small army of villainous foes in his hometown of Foshan before he moved to Hong Kong.

Herman Yau handles the directing chores for this prequel to the Ip Man saga kicked off by the two blockbuster hits that Wilson Yip and Donnie Yen had success with a couple of years ago. The producers hired Action Director Tony Leung Siu-Hung who worked closely with Sammo Hung and Yen on the earlier projects. Yau works closely with his longtime collaborator, cinematographer Joe Chan Kwong-Hung, a talented artist in his field, to create a beautiful visual palette from which to weave this story closely to the first films.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: evirei
Date: 11/14/2011

Really... I can help but to feel ripped off. I mean, when Ip Man first started out, I think it was like WOW... and it opens my eye to Hong Kong martial art movie, but this... just shows how they all tries so hard to rip profit out by riding on the sucess of the first 2 movies.

The casting was bad enough when the lead can't even speak proper Chinese. Not to mention the repetition of character such as Sammo Hung, playing a seperate character. And seriously, could the lead actor really fight? As it all seems like just good editing that help saves it all.

I hate to burst the bubble, but the continutity from the first 2 movies from this is totally out. When in part 2, it shows clearly, Ip Man (played by Donnie Yen) couldn't even understand english, but in this... he chould. It's really amazing isn't it?

Seriously, the only best part that saves the whole movie is that we get to see Ip Chun in the show. The rest... are yet another boring, old school martial art movie.

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 10/21/2010

With the success of the "Ip Man" films, it was perhaps only a matter of time before wily Hong Kong producers figured out a way to capitalize on the newly popular character. We have our first official entry in the knock-off category with Herman Yau's "The Legend is Born - Ip Man". Despite having some of the same cast and crew as the "Ip Man" movies with Donnie Yen, The Legend is Born lives up (or, rather, down) to the lineage of cinematic clones and comes off like a pale shadow of the films that inspired it.

Reviewer Score: 5