Metal Arcade: Jason Bakker writes:
For those that are unfamiliar with the story of Ip Man, The Grandmaster tells the tale of the well-respected martial artist who would one day be known as the man who trained the legendary Bruce Lee. But that is just one small facet of his life, and the film chooses mostly to focus on the relationship between Ip Man (Tony Leung) and Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi) over multiple decades. The Grandmaster documents the life of the Wing Chun master from the early 1930s in Foshan, to his time in Hong Kong during the Second Sino-Japanese War, up to when his martial arts school begins to find success. Director Wong Kar-Wai manages to strike a balance between action-packed fight sequences and softer moments, and captures some truly striking imagery throughout (such as the standout initial fight sequence pitting Ip Man against a dozen opponents in the pouring rain).