“The Grandmaster” – Gif Review (Movie Review)
The Grandmaster Gif Review? Haven’t you run that trick somewhere before Benhameen? Why yes I have but you know what really hurts? When you spend all night writing up a post on The Grandmaster and awaking to find out that the only thing that saved was this wack ass gif. The same gif that doesn’t even work on the post that you were working on. The post that told you all that The Grandmaster is an excellent film to say the least, the one that started off with the story of how I walked into the movie theater thinking I was going to see a documentary on Bruce Lee’s mentor and trainer and instead saw a sick ass Kung Fu flick with a nice love triangle story to boot. Boot to the head is what I got instead as the director Wong Kar-wai has created one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. I had written this really dope piece extolling the talents of Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi the two main characters in a love story that spans decades, not only for their acting but of course for the amazing action sequences. But it got erased, so instead I’m just going to do another Gif review. So folks without further ado, and I really just typed that so I could say ado, The Grandmaster Gif review. Well there is a bit of ado, as you have to hit the jump to get the goods, but I figured you knew that already.
I can’t lie I walked into The Grandmaster thinking that it was going to be a documentary on Bruce Lee’s
trainer Yip Man, who is a master of the Wing Chun school of Kung Fu. While I figured that it would be a cool movie I wasn’t expecting anything other than some footage of an old man telling us how bad ass he used to be. Of course my ignorant ass didn’t realize that this was the same Yip Man who is the star of two amazing Chinese films already, nor did I bother to check whether or not this was a documentary or not in the first place. Short answer, it isn’t. Long answer it took me probably about a minute to realize I was in for some shiznit.
THE OPENING FIGHT SEQUENCE? Remember the rain sequence fight in the last Matrix movie? I mean I know you’ve probably blocked most of that movie from your mind if you have seen it but it did have it’s moments. This fight scene is all of that and a sack of Sour D my friends. Yip Man fights twenty or so thugs in the rain and then has a nice one on one with the leader of the gang. Everything about this scene is pure Kung Fu flick mastery, from the way Yip dispatches each of his enemies until it’s just the Boss left, to the stunning cinematography that words truly don’t do justice. I need to see this scene again, and again, and again. After this I was pretty much hooked.
From there we are introduced to Yip’s family and living situation, which is that of married baller. Yip has spent his whole life studying Wing Chun and since he’s basically royalty he hasn’t had to do much else. So when the leaders of the schools of The North decide to unite with the schools of the South Yip is chosen from the Southern schools to represent. Of course the Southern leaders aren’t going to let Yip just represent without some sort of gauntlet right? So Yip has to gain experience against these mini bosses first before fighting the Big Bad at the end of level. You know what I wanted? More.
I immediately got it, for after Yip Man beats the Northern Master in what turns out to be a war of ideas, his daughter Gong Er challenges him to a duel to regain her father’s honor. This duel was more of a ballet and a missed encounter, as your boy Yip is sprung like T-Pain on ol girl Gong.
I’m wrong for that one I know, but it’s not just Yip, Gong Er is also quite open to Mr. Man.
Thus begins one of the most star crossed romances since Romeo & Juliet, for not only is Yip a married family man, war breaks out before he can even visit Gong Er and Yip goes from baller to broke like he was a former NFL player. Top it off Gong has problems of her own as one of her father’s former students, Ma San has joined up with the invading army and commits an act of treason that forces Gong to abandon her dreams of love & marriage and replacing them with the cold thoughts of revenge.
Well maybe not so cold cause those thoughts keep her quite warm in the frigid north as she hunts down Ma Sun for a duel that’s not so much a ballet as a straight up and down old fashioned whupping. This scene takes place as Ma arrives at a train station so while they fight there is the danger of being thrown into an oncoming train. Tense you think?
I did it for you fellas, but I can’t even lie to you, the whole train fight had me feeling like this right here. Well almost.
But when Gong Er pulls off the “Finish Him” move at the end of the train sequence?
Overall this movie is one of those joints that you just don’t expect to be this damn good. While there are a few parts that could use some fleshing out, I blame that mainly on this film being recut for American audiences. The Grandmaster was first released in China earlier this year and Martin Scorsese and Samuel L Jackson have come on as producers to bring it to America. Of course they had to dumb it down a bit so you might want to cop the original version on Blue Ray from overseas. But unless you’ve got the sickest set up ever I suggest seeing this bad boy on the big screen, the visuals in this film deserves the biggest and best theater you can find. Salute to everyone involved in The Grandmaster, props from Benhameen.