This was a tricky one for me as I don’t watch a lot of Netflix, however I seemed to strike lucky as recently added to Netflix are two movies I really like and one pretty bad comic adaptation. They’ve both been added to Netflix in the Action & Adventure category in the last few weeks.
Yesflix – Ip Man/Ip Man 2
If you read Yesflix/Noflix a few weeks ago you’ll remember Dave’s choice for Noflix was The Grandmaster. A disappointing movie about the life of Yip Man, a grandmaster in the martial art Wing Chun who trained Bruce Lee. Ip Man is another movie based on the life of Yip Man, telling the story of Ip Man trying to live through the Japanese occupation of Foshan, China during the Sino-Japanese war. The title character is played by accomplished martial artist Donnie Yen who delivers a great performance in this and the sequel, he has also been announced as a cast member in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off movie Star Wars: Rogue One.
The highlight of the movie is a relatively famous scene in which Ip Man takes on ten Japanese fighters at once in a flurry of action, it’s quite representative of the fighting in the film in general which is a wonder to behold. While the feature does have quite a serious tone for the most part, due to its subject matter, its opening has some good humour and shows quite well how the occupation affected the region and those living there.
As an addition to this, the sequel was also added to Netflix alongside the first and is well worth checking out. It focuses on the aspect of his life when Yip Man moved to Hong Kong and opened a martial arts school. The main criticism of the film I hear is the strong east vs. west political message, and while that is there I don’t see it as a good reason to pass over this excellent movie. The movie deals with the English occupation of Hong Kong and once again Donnie Yen delivers a fantastic performance.
After the movie came out Donnie Yen said he felt it would become a classic, going passed the first Ip Man, and therefore he had no interest in making a third which had always been planned. However he eventually changed his mind and the final part of the trilogy is expected to come out next year, with the trailer being released not long ago – it stars Mike Tyson opposite Donnie Yen.
The movies are biopics, so they are based off of real life events that surrounded Yip Man but they have obviously be dramatized a good bit for the movies. Over all the two of them are two of my favourite martial arts movies around and I would highly recommend them to anyone. They pack in a lot of great action, without being as gory as other movies like The Raid, and tell an interesting story.
A must see duo of movies for any martial arts fan.
Fans of Ong-Bak and The Raid will LOVE this!
Noflix – R.I.P.D: Rest In Peace Department
This movie originally came out in 2013 and stars Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Bacon. The plot is pretty simple if a bit weird, Ryan Reynolds character is killed and is drafted into the rest in peace department, a department of dead people who go into the world to find monsters disguised as humans. These monsters, nicknamed ‘deados’, are souls who refuse to move on to the afterlife. He is partnered with Jeff Bridges‘ character Roycephus ‘Roy’ Pulsipher who was a former U.S. Marshal in the American Civil War. They find out they have to save the world from Bobby Hayes, played by Kevin Bacon, who murdered Reynolds character near the beginning of the movie.
The movie has its moments and most of those moments come from Jeff Bridges acting like a wild west sheriff, but overall the movie is just a typical standard action film. This is a pretty disappointing as the director, Robert Schwentke, was behind the movie RED which I happened to quite like. There’s little in the way of character development and the story just leaps from jokes to fights to jokes repeatedly. The movie heavily relies on not that good CGI, which made it tough for me to watch without constantly thinking “That could really look better”.
Formulaic and predictable CGI action results in a borefest.