Former World Wushu Champion Du Yuhang (aka Dennis To, Ip Man, Kung Fu League, 1911) stars in the action-packed martial arts extravaganza The Grandmaster of Kung Fu. Du Yuhang plays a martial arts master engaged in a life-or-death battle with a Japanese military commander in order to protect an important martial arts stronghold. Directed by Cheng Siyu (Fist of Fury: Soul), The Grandmaster of Kung Fu also stars Gao Xuemei, Yang Yongfeng, Li Ruoxi and Zhuang Han.
What We Thought:
Have you seen The Grandmaster or Donnie Yen’s Ip Man franchise? Well then you’ve seen The Grandmaster of Kung Fu. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because I enjoy those films, but don’t expect anything original or something different than what we’ve seen before.
Because they all take place around the same time period (Japan’s invasion of China in the early 20th century), the story is usually the same. This is about a Chinese guy who needs to defeat a Japanese guy in order to keep their martial arts studios active. The Japanese want to prove that Japanese fighting is far superior and of course they beat a strong local Chinese fighter which makes the lead actor step up. The lead must win it all for his country and countrymen.
After seeing half a dozen of these movies already I watch them simply for the fighting/action. Since they are all basically the same movie the action needs to stand out. It’s decent here. The Ip Man franchise is the king for a reason and I’ve rewatched those films a few times. I’m not sure if I’d rewatch this one. The lead is perfectly fine, but doesn’t have the charisma Yen does. The entire time watching this I felt I had seen it before and it doesn’t quite separate itself from similar movies.
If you like the movies I’ve mentioned you should like The Grandmaster of Kung Fu. The fighting sequences are decent enough just don’t expect to be blown away by it. I wanted a bit more from it, but ultimately it’s very watchable at least the first time.
The Grandmaster of Kung Fu has a runtime of approximately 75 minutes and is not rated.
Country of Origin: China