DVD Verdict
Home About Deals Gift Guide Blu-ray DVD Reviews Upcoming DVD Releases Contest Podcasts Judges Jury Room Contact  

Case Number 22928

Buy Ip Man: The Legend is Born (Blu-ray) at Amazon

Ip Man: The Legend is Born (Blu-ray)

Funimation // 2010 // 96 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 13th, 2011

• View Judge Johnson's Dossier
• E-mail Judge Johnson
• Printer Friendly Review


Every purchase you make through these Amazon links supports DVD Verdict's reviewing efforts. Thank you!




 

All Rise...

Judge David Johnson is a Nip Man. Don't ask.

The Charge

Learn. Master. Achieve.

Opening Statement

Some folks just can't get enough Ip Man.

Facts of the Case

Who is Ip Man? He's the legendary teacher of Bruce Lee. He also did a bunch of interesting stuff in China during the early 20th century, most notably punching a bunch of Japanese guys in the head. After two movies, you'd think there wouldn't be more Ip Man story to tell, but here's a prequel, documenting his rise to fame while he, yes, punches more Japanese guys in the head.

The Evidence

The biggest change for the Ip Man franchise is the loss of kung-fu god Donnie Yen, who was replaced by Yu-Hang To, a fresh face. While no one can hope to get up to Yen's level of awesomeness, To isn't a terrible alternative. He exudes the scholarly, know-it-all attitude Ip Man needs and, more importantly, can throw down when called upon.

The only trouble: there isn't that much action to be found in The Legend is Born. Less an action film and more a historical drama, this Ip Man installment looks to spin a political saga more than show the main man dropping the hammer. Translation: this movie is boring.

If you can't get enough period Chinese drama, there might be some value here, but I'm pretty much Ipped out. Once again, the Japanese are the thugs here (perhaps in the Chinese film industry, the Japanese are like Eastern European bank thieves in our action films). And once again it all culminates in Ip Man issuing a series of savage beatings to some hapless Japanese karate masters.

The run-up to this showdown is a trek, focusing on Ip Man's participation in a kung fu school and, later, his impromptu investigation into the death of a teacher and the eventual uncovering of a stunning conspiracy by—you guessed it!—the Japanese.

Fast forward to the dust-ups. All two of them (and one odd flashback blindfolded fight featuring Sammo Hung in a glorified cameo). The fight choreography is so-so, given limited juice by Yu-Hang To's skill. The highlight is the big multi-ninja throwdown at the end and it's merely okay. Ip Man does battle with a giant wooden bow-like weapon and even though the karate death masters have swords and outnumber their foe 20 to 1, they can't seem to solve his defenses…

Funimation's Blu-ray/DVD set is solid. The 2.35:1/1080p high definition widescreen transfer is clean and detail-rich, and the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks (Cantonese and English) kick in nicely during the more active moments. Only one extra: a decent-sized making-of documentary.

Closing Statement

I think I've got enough info on Ip Man now, thanks.

The Verdict

Ip this one in the bud. Look elsewhere for your martial arts thrills.

Give us your feedback!

Did we give Ip Man: The Legend is Born (Blu-ray) a fair trial? yes / no

Share This Review


Follow DVD Verdict


Other Reviews You Might Enjoy

• Lolita
• Steel Fisted Dragon
• Desperado: Superbit Edition
• Ride With The Devil

DVD Reviews Quick Index

• DVD Releases
• Recent DVD Reviews
• Search for a DVD review...

Scales of Justice

Video: 90
Audio: 90
Extras: 75
Acting: 80
Story: 65
Judgment: 68

Perp Profile

Studio: Funimation
Video Formats:
• 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
Audio Formats:
• TrueHD 5.1 Surround (English)
• TrueHD 5.1 Surround (Cantonese)
Subtitles:
• English
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Action
• Biographical
• Blu-ray
• Drama
• Historical
• Martial Arts

Distinguishing Marks

• Featurette
• DVD Copy

Accomplices

• IMDb








DVD | Blu-ray | Upcoming DVD Releases | About | Staff | Jobs | Contact | Subscribe | Find us on Google+ | Privacy Policy

Review content copyright © 2011 David Johnson; Site design and review layout copyright © 2014 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.