Bruce Lee holds a special place in popular folklore, and is by far the most high-profile martial artist of all time. But Lee wasn’t born possessing his many martial arts skills; he had to learn them somewhere, and from someone. But who was so great that he could train the man who would become the greatest? Only one person: Ip Man.
Wong Kar-wai’s new film, The Grandmaster, examines the incredible life of this legendary martial artist. An epic story that’s been a decade in the making, the movie stars Tony Leung Chiu Wai as Ip Man and Ziyi Zhang (Rush Hour 2; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as his love interest, Gong Er. It chronicles many periods of Ip Man’s eventful life, from his first martial arts training at the age of seven, to his fight for survival during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II, to his ultimately establishing himself as a revered teacher in Hong Kong—where he would train many students, including a young Bruce Lee. It also just so happens to be jam-packed with some spectacularly explosive martial arts sequences, the likes of which no other director could deliver.
The Grandmaster is a film that spans many genres, from emotional biopic to sweeping martial arts spectacle, and is most definitely a movie that is not to be missed. It hits theaters in New York and Los Angeles tomorrow, and then nationwide on August 30. But don’t wait—buy your tickets now!