Rains drops that shine like diamonds. A choreographed battle becomes a dance of graceful, powerful movement. The violence becomes beautiful. With this incredible fight scene director Kar Wai Wong opens The Grandmaster.
Then Wong replicates the same techniques over and over again ad nauseam, expecting fancy camera angles and beautiful set designs to carry an entire 90-minute feature. The result, a film where absolutely nothing happens.
As Zacharek says, "The 108-minute Grandmaster is like that; it doesn't give away its secrets all at once." In fact, it never gives them away. There are none. This film stinks!
Phillipe le Sourd’s fantastic cinematography cannot save the film. Identical shot after identical shot render le Sourd’s imagery utterly meaningless.
The main character Ip Man flees whatever Chinese town he’s from as the crisis of a Japanese invasion occurs, but we don’t even care. Eventually Zhang’s character and Ip Man magically meet up in Hong Kong, but by this point, thanks to the miasmic mess that has spewed fourth since the beginning of the film, the only think we do care about as viewers is the amount of time left until the credits roll.
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