The Grandmaster is a sweeping cinematic epic that tells the story of one of China’s great martial arts masters – Ip Man. The beautifully filmed piece follows Mann through several years that are a tumultuous period in his life as well as in the history of both martial arts and China. Though the story in The Grandmaster is interesting, it often becomes overwhelmed by the artistic camera work and displays of martial arts prowess and begins to drag on.
Watching history and realism mix with action was a surreal experience. I am accustomed to action movies throwing realism completely out the window, but this film (while including the extended fight scenes complete with building destruction, un-injured heroes and super-human feats) remained based in fact and history. Only one hero is injured after a fight – the one female main character. Typical, and wrong.
Despite its faults, I enjoyed the movie. It was an interesting view into the Chinese movie business, a fun history lesson, and perhaps one of the ultimate martial arts movies.