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Action/Martial Arts
Director: Joe Cheung
Cast: Bai Jing, Yu Shaoqun, Kara Hui, Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Colin Chou
RunTime: -
Released By: Shaw
Rating: TBA
Official Website:

Opening Day: 18 November 2010


There are many schools of Chinese martial arts and their history date back to decades, if not centuries. Among the different sects, Wing Chun is one of the most popular and widely practiced. Kung Fu Wing Chun tells the story of origin and development of Wing Chun.

Yim Wing Chun, born in Guangdong, is a young, charming and filial girl, with a strong sense of righteousness. As her mother died when she is really young, Wing Chun and her cousin, Ying Chun are brought up by her father, Yim Yi who runs a popular eatery at Mount Da Liang.

Alls’ well in the Yim household, until a local villain, Gao Shing, who wants to marry Wing Chun, forcefully proposed. Wing Chun tries to retaliate, but in vain. While Wing Chun is almost hopeless of wiggling out of the proposal, she came across Ng Mui, a nun who’s highly-skilled in martial arts and escaping from the imperial guards.

To find ways to get Wing Chun out of the pending loveless marriage, Ng Mui suggests to Yim Yi that he should counter-propose, telling Shing that he will only agree to the proposal should Shing be able to beat Wing Chun in a martial arts match in three-month time.

Wing Chun soon starts to learn under Ng Mui, and the two bonded more than how teacher and protégé would. Wing Chun found the motherly love she always wanted from Ng Mui, especially since her mother’s early passing. After training intensively for three months, Wing Chun beats Shing at the match and the wedding is cancelled.

Leung Bao Chou, a handsome, smart and sociable man and Wing Chun are betrothed since young. Both families have been friends for generations and have a profound relationship. Bao Chou has been helping in the family business of Tealeaves trading and had travelled to different parts of China extensively. Despite being a well-travelled and suave trader, he remains an honest and respectable young man, who’s also well-versed in Nan Quan.

As Bao Chou is not getting any younger, his parents urge him to marry Wing Chun, whom they said is a gentle and demure girl that will make an excellent wife. Bao Chou soon sets off to another business trip in Yun Gui, which he will also pay Yim Yi and Wing Chun a visit at the same time.

While in the town of Yun Gui, Bao Chou and his assistant, Fatty witnessed a feisty girl beating up a guy. On their way to the Yim’s, Fatty even exclaimed that it will be a ‘nightmare’ for any guy who ends up getting the feisty girl for a wife… When Bao Chou arrives at Yim’s, he had a rude shock when he realised Wing Chun is the feisty girl he saw earlier. Not wanting to end up in a ‘nightmare’, Bao Chou and Fatty sneak away, leaving Wing Chun angry and humiliated. Since then, the two will bicker at the sight of each other.

Failing to get Wing Chun’s hand, Gao Shing and his friend Lau Yam, tried to humiliate Ying Chun. To avenge her cousin, Wing Chun tries to ambush both Shing and Yam, but failed. At the crucial moment, a mysterious hero came to Wing Chun’s rescue. After realizing it is Bao Chou who saved her, love blossoms between the bickering duo.

Yam is not just another villain who picks fights, he is actually the disciple of Kam Ying, an imperial subject who is ruthless and cruel, tasked to capture Ng Mui. Yam was sent by Ying to find the whereabouts of Ng Mui and confirmed her association with the Yims. Ying sent orders to block off all exits of the towns, and spread rumors of the Yims being captured, just to lure Ng Mui from her hiding.

When Wing Chun learnt of Ying’s plot, she rushes to join Ng Mui to fight Ying. Not wanting to leave his love in lurch, Bao Chou follows Wing Chun, who is deeply moved by his dedication. After a series of bloody fights, the trio finally defeats Ying.

After the triumph over the evil Ying, Yim Wing Chun continues to enhance and glorify ‘Wing Chun’ the martial arts that was imparted to her by Master Ng Mui. Wing Chun continues to be taught and passed from generation to generation.

Movie Review:

You know that it's just a matter of time before this film gets made. Audiences around the world have been treated to a re-emergence of Wing Chun in the movies, especially with the success of what Wilson Yip did for the martial arts with his two Ip Man films starring Donnie Yen. Even Herman Yau got into the act with a tale that defines Ip Man the character in his youth, and Wong Kar Wai as well with his Tony Leung starrer in the yet to be completed The Grandmasters. While there are some illustrious names of Wing Chun practitioners such as Bruce Lee (coincidentally this year being a big year in celebration of what could be his 70th birth year), this film goes back all the way to the founding of the martial arts, and the legend and philosophy behind it.

As with the Ip Man films, there are a number of occasions where Ip Man is taunted by his enemies that he's practising a ladies' brand of martial arts. And frankly that's the truth as far as the legend goes in the founding of the principles and moves, with the name christiened based on the lady of the same name. In this version, Yim Wing Chun (Bai Jing) is the tomboy of the era having learnt Shaolin martial arts from her father, but is found to be no match for the bully from another town, here to seek Wing Chun's hand in marriage through a fight contest. Her saviour comes in the form of an Abbess called Ng Mui (Kara Hui), who teaches Wing Chun a set of skills based on economies of moves, protecting the centreline, and essentially how to overcome a stronger, more aggressive opponent given her physical, feminine built. The outcome is a no-brainer, and To us today, that's Wing Chun the martial arts.

And that's what shines in the film, where the filmmakers take great pains to introduce and describe the philosophy behind the martial arts, terms which we should already be familiar with if we've been lapping up the Ip Man films. While the moves are expected to be raw since we're witnessing what is the first hand transfer of new knowledge from creator to protege, they are nonetheless still brilliantly executed by Kara Hui, famous from her Shaw Brothers swordfighting movie days, as well as Bai Jing, whose butt-kicking moves are convincing since she had undergone martial arts training and made her character look credible in being able to pull off what she had to do with three months worth of intense training.

The fights which should probably be top draw in any martial arts films, tend to be fairly exciting in tempo and execution, but as I mentioned, having watched some Ip Man films doesn't mean we can judge Wing Chun based on the Ip Man benchmark, since she's no grandmaster yet, and her moves are sometimes still raw and unrefined, which was OK to showcase how the early stages would eventually evolve into. Somehow, I felt the film did seem like a walk on the nostalgic path, with choreography being very much like the old Shaw Bros films in treatment, with its fair share of blood splashes and violence that reminisces how such films were done during the yesteryears with practical effects. My gripe though tend to be on the cheap looking and rather unnecessary CG backgrounds against which our characters got superimposed onto, which unnecessarily dumbed down the production values by a few notches.

And you've got to endure a couple of disappointingly clunky storytelling, which tells of the background of the Yim family and their tofu shop, followed by that of the Leong family where the parents of tea connosieur Leong Bak Chou (Ye Shaoqun), played by Yuen Wah and Yuen Qiu, urge their son to follow through their arranged marriage proposal with the Yims, where Wing Chun is already bethrothed to Bak Chou, and the film languishes in the realm of weak, cliche comedy, and what's essentially a bloated subplot (involving laxatives at one point even) riddled with extremely cheesy dialogue. The villain played by Colin Chou is extremely one dimensional, and proves to be nothing more than Wing Chun fodder as you would expect when the finale rolls along.

It's a tale of two halves, each seemingly like a telemovie on its own with a lot of unnecessary subplots that could have been dropped. If only the story and pacing was kept tight, the character development done better and having the dialogue spruced up, could this have been memorable rather than leaving an aftertaste that it's a rushed job to cash in on the recent Wing Chun craze in the cinemas

Movie Rating:

(More rigorous training required to have whipped this into a leaner, meaner treat)

Review by Stefan Shih


. Ip Man: The Legend Is Born (2010)

. Ip Man 2 (2010)

. True Legend (2010)

. Ip Man (2008)

. Kung Fu Chefs (2008)

. Dragon Tiger Gate (2006)

. Seven Swords (2005)

. Iron Monkey DVD (1993)



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