.......... HEADS UP*** This movie is Chinese with subtitles ***
Be sure to see The Grandmaster whenever you can.
As I wrote in a Fandango review... This is a bit like Titanic - a fiction within a historical setting. But rather than rich vs. poor, you have Northern Bagua and XingYi vs. Southern Wing Chun. Uechika will recognize the places, the masters, and the styles. Historians will recognize the many phases of Chinese history, and the tragedies brought about by multiple occupations. And then there is the story about how the West discovered these Eastern arts.
Make no mistake about it; this movie is Wing Chun propaganda. The insufferable you-aren't-doing-true-Wing-Chun
crowd will have their heads swollen a bit over this piece. (We don't have any of *those* types in Uechi now, do we?
) But it's well worth giving them their 15 minutes of fame, as the movie is good and the style - absent a handful of boneheaded players - is worthy. The Wing Chun propagandists can also be forgiven their glossing over the issues related to "claiming" Bruce Lee. (Bruce Lee didn't return the favor.) All that said, go see it. It's eye candy for the martial arts movie aficionado.
Oh... there's also romance, history, tales of honor, and great cinematography. And did I mention that it's a martial arts movie? There's wall-to-wall kung fu fighting.
Tank up on caffeine; the pace varies. (One annoying asswipe in front of me fell asleep and was snoring.) Bring your honey. Teenage and up OK. Be prepared to give your kids a history lesson if you bring them. (Be sure *you* know your history of British and Japanese occupation, and the subsequent Cultural Revolution.) Enjoy.