Positives; the actors, it's French/Belgian, working/lower class, mixed martial arts. Negatives, the narrative shifts from character, to character, the story relies too heavily on the "how messed up do I have to be before you'll love me" device, the script is mediocre, and unforgivably, it's too long. A tepid: yes.
Donnie Yen is so bad ass in this tribute to Bruce Lee, and probably the best film martial artist / choreographer working today. The fight scenes are fantastic, but the direction and editing of the rest is terrible.
Fantasy, Western, Martial Art saga of a swordsman, a baby, a decrepit town of circus freaks, misfits and miscreants. Heavy use of effects, decent cast; including Geoffrey Rush, Kate Bosworth & Dong-Gun Jan. Cool, violent, but sweet and occasionally funny!
Jackie Chan has a small role, but this is entirely Andy Lau's Shaolin. High production value, violent, historical kung-fu drama about a warlord's fall and redemption in the temple of Shaolin.
A young geisha seeks retribution for the murder of her father and battles to carry on the tradition of a powerful double-edged sword tradition. Kick-ass fight scenes, beautiful subjects and photography, brief, imperfect. BTW, a geisha is a woman trained in the arts: not a ho.
The action sequences are fine, but the rest of the film stinks. It's interesting to see Jackie Chan play a grizzled old soldier who wants to be a farmer again, but how many horses have to be tripped and probably seriously injured? Makes True Legend look masterful in comparison.
Yuen Woo Ping is a master of Kung Fu action, and delivers a classic Chinese Wushu story (with strong Nationalistic theme) about the origins of drunken boxing. Lots of wire work and weapons. Gorgeous.
Official Site: http://releasing.indomina.com/true-legend/
Sammo Hung got his meaty hands into this one and gives Donnie Yen a worthy opponent / partner in the continuing Chinese struggle for respect: this time it's against the "foreign devils" British occupiers and their western boxing style. Not as satisfying as the first Ip Man, but worth a viewing for the many thrilling fight scenes. Ip Man 2 contains more boxing than The Fighter!
Official Site: http://www.ipman2movie-us.com/
Now that Jackie Chan and Jet Li have retired from starring in martial art movies, Donnie Yen has carried on the classic Kung Fu tradition with the help of fight choreographer Sammo Hung. Heavy on Chinese national pride, authentic to the era, IP MAN, (Bruce Lee's Wing Chun Master) is loaded with great fight scenes, and a compelling story. Any doubts I had about Donnie Yen have been put to rest after seeing his Wing Chun skills. IP MAN 2; out on DVD this week: yeah!
Offical Site: http://www.ipman-movie.com