“When it comes to martial arts, you just need to know two words. Horizontal and vertical”. That’s how the latest trailer to the Kung Fu epic The Grandmaster starts out, sans any Chinese voiceovers. That also flies in the face of what I was taught, as the drunk hobo who was my sensei, told me that the only two words that mattered when you took a broken bottle that smelt of urine to the face of an opponent was $#%! and you.
But I’m drifting. Here’s that rainy teaser trailer for The Grandmaster, with a touch of newer brutality and a whisky-soaked narrator telling you the ins and outs of martial arts.
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Wong Kar Wai, THE GRANDMASTER is an epic action feature inspired by the life and times of the legendary kung fu master, Ip Man. The story spans the tumultuous Republican era that followed the fall of China’s last dynasty, a time of chaos, division and war that was also the golden age of Chinese martial arts. Filmed in a range of stunning locations that include the snow-swept landscapes of Northeast China and the subtropical South, THE GRANDMASTER features virtuoso performances by some of the greatest stars of contemporary Asian cinema, including Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang.
I’ve always been a fan of these specific genre flicks, but generally only when they’re done right. Make no mistake, Chinese filmmakers are the undisputed kings of wire-fu, but when these films get bogged down with unnecessary drama over fisticuffs? I tune out. The Grandmaster on the other hand, I’m hoping will put the spectacle back in that classic genre. It’s basically the same footage as from the other trailers above, but the Americanisation of it points to a dubbed version of the movie coming out on August 23.
Or some decent subtitles at least. Optimus Prime narration aside, I’m still keen on the film. Solid attempts at making fists of fury tell a poignant story are few and far between, with only an Ip Man here or there that can sit proudly next to Fearless on the notable release schedule.
Also, hit him hard hey.
Last Updated: April 23, 2013