The Grandmaster of Kung Fu review by Bobby Blakey
I love a good old school martial arts flick from the wuxia genre. Whether its focusing on a real life person such as the legendary Ip Man or the popular Chen Zen who has been played by Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Donnie Yen, who also took on Ip Man, the results are the same when done right, epic martial arts action. The latest from Well Go USA is The Grandmaster of Kung Fu starring Du Yuhang, Gao Xuemei, Yang Yongfeng, Li Ruoxi and Zhuang Han.
The Grandmaster of Kung Fu follows a renowned Chinese martial artist who engages in a life-or-death battle with a feared Japanese military commander in order to prevent Japan’s ultimate goal of seizing martial arts stronghold Tianjin near the end of the Qing Dynasty.
There are tons of these movies popping up all the time, but very few capture that Shaw Brothers vibe in the wuxia genre. This one was one of the good one bringing everything you hope for to the forefront while keeping things pretty simple and action packed. The whole thing feels very much like the Ip Man films complete with some of the same story elements while being a different character.
There is a young character here named Chen Zhen which is the same character portrayed by Bruce Lee, Donnie Yen and Jet Li if other films leading me to believe that this film is intended to focus on his master here played toi perfection by the always great Yu-Huang To who himself has also played Ip Man in a film. He brings a calm power the persona that helps to make you respect the character as he seems to want to do what’s right without the violence, but unleashes when necessary.
The story is simple enough to keep you engaged, but really feels like it is really just setting up each fight and there are plenty of them. While they aren’t all perfection they are executed well and fun to watch. They clearly spent the time to make them dynamic and badass and never run low on keeping them coming.
There are many elements that felt lifted directly from the Ip Man series, but so well executed that you can let that go and just enjoy the badass fun of it all. Step up and prepare to fight for a nation with The Grandmaster of Kung Fu available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Well Go USA.