Young IP Man (Blu-ray)

In 1917 young Ip Man first came to Hong Kong to study, but his peaceful campus life was unexpectedly broken. A shocking hostage situation occurred on the day when the school held an English speech contest.

May 25, 2023 4 Min Read

Review by: Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

I’ll confess that I’ve never seen a single IP Man film. I have only heard a good deal about them. When the time arose to check out Young IP Man I said why not. It won’t change your world, but across its very brief 79 minutes or so, it packs a nice little punch. The action has a nice, hard-hitting flow to it and the story is a simple, but effective one. Seeing it once was enough for me, but I’m glad I did. I wish more action films today would maintain the simplicity and urgency that this one has. It’s often nice to get away from the problems of the real world and find true escapism. 

An escaped convict infiltrates a school and holds the students for ransom. This causes the Young IP Man (Zhao Wenhao) to take matters into his own hands, trying to bring down the convict and save the students. Brother Long (Mu Fengbin) is the main villain here who is aided in his prison escape and then takes everyone hostage. His motives seem simple and straightforward at first, but the real reason is revealed later in the film. It’s a nice twist, but maybe not one that’ll resonate strongly with most viewers. Things are kept moving along nicely as the feature is adamant on not overstaying its welcome. 

While I’m unsure of how fans of this series will take to this film, I can say that it entertained me a good bit. The school setting keeps a limited scope which works in favor of the hostage plot and adds a bit of tension as well. While not all the action sequences are the best, they at least kept me with them. The appropriate amount of blood splatter is there, and the cast and production team make it all convincing enough. Give this one a shot, you could do worse.

Video: How’s it look?

In a wider-than-usual transfer, we get a 2.65:1 ratio which allows us to really see all that is offered visually. It might be more than what was needed, but with all the modern, large tv’s it shouldn’t be a bother to viewers. Details and contrast are super sharp, with no obvious issues that I could detect.

Audio: How’s it sound?

I opted for the English DTS HD track, but the option is nice to have. I simply wasn’t up for reading subtitles during my viewing. This is an action film with a lot of it so expect the track to keep the speakers busy. Dialogue is clear, with no distortion or other issues. Either track you choose in either language should satisfy.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Theatrical Trailer

The Bottom Line

Effective and to the point, Young IP Man worked for me for a single viewing. I appreciated the steady pacing and simplicity of the plot. The action is nicely staged and the story, though simple, did keep me with it. Worth a viewing.

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