Screen Gems Movie Reviews with Kennie Bass. You'll find it First On Fox!
September 20, 2013 The Grandmaster
Studio: Block 2 Pictures Rating: PG-13 for violence, some smoking, brief drug use and language.
Director Wong Kar Wai is one of the world's most influential filmmakers. He has a singular style that is more about mood and emotion than story.
That comes through loud and clear in his latest effort, "The Grandmaster."
It is the story of Ip Man (pronounced "Eep Mun"), played by Tony Leung. He's a martial arts legend who was the real-life trainer and master of Bruce Lee. The story focuses on about two decades in his life, starting roughly in the 1930s.
He helps end the rivalries of kung ku factions, navigates the world after the second Sino-Japanese War and meets a beautiful woman. She is a fictional character named Gong Er (Ziyi Zhang).
While this is the story of Man's journey, it is Gong who comes to the forefront as the movie progresses. She's on a quest for vengeance and is a pretty good fighter on her own.
"The Grandmaster" is filled with beautiful images and wonderfully choreographed fight scenes. The battles almost have the feeling of a ballet as the protagonists weave, bob and almost take flight. However, the story isn't very easy to follow. The American version of the film is about 30 minutes shorter than the original cut so some of the plot gets a little fuzzy.
But if you like highly-stylized martial arts action then that should be enough to satisfy you.
The film ends a little abruptly. I can only imagine there is a "Grandmaster 2" lurking somewhere down the road.
On my rating scale, "The Grandmaster" earns a DOUBLE, mostly for its unique visual style and incredible action.
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