Wing Chun (film)

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Wing Chun
Directed byYuen Woo-ping
Produced byYuen Woo-ping
Written byElsa Tang
StarringMichelle Yeoh
Donnie Yen
Waise Lee
Cheng Pei-pei
Music byYen Chi-tan
CinematographyPin Bing Lee
Distributed byCentury Pacific
Release date
  • 24 March 1994 (1994-03-24)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryHong Kong
LanguageCantonese

Wing Chun (Chinese: 詠春) is a 1994 Hong Kong martial arts action drama film produced and directed by Yuen Woo-ping, starring Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen. The film was preceded by a 1994 television series of the same name.

Plot[edit]

Wing-Chun is a young lady in charge of a family tofu shop in a mountain village with her father, sister and aunt. After local bullies tried to forcefully marry her during her youth, she trained to become a talented kung fu practitioner to fend off bad men lusting after her beauty, but her new prowess ends up scaring away any suitors to the chagrin of her father. She is the only person out of all the villagers who will stand up to the local bandits, led by two nefarious bandit brothers nicknamed the "Flying Chimpanzee" and "Flying Monkey". One day, a young and beautiful widow named Charmy comes to town, catching the eyes of the predatory Flying Monkey. Wing-Chun rescues the hapless widow and gives her a job in her family shop, earning the enmity of Flying Monkey.

Meanwhile, Wing-Chun's childhood sweetheart Pok-To, who went away to learn kung fu in order to protect Wing-Chun from local bullies, arrives in town to claim her hand in marriage, returning fresh from years of training. He at first mistakes Charmy (who is enamored with the handsome stranger) for Wing-Chun and is disappointed that his "fiancée" is now a flirtatious saleswoman, and mistakes the masculine-dressing Wing-Chun as a rival suitor. Wing-Chun remains silent about the misunderstanding, concerned that Pok-To will not accept her current unfeminine, warrior persona.

Wing-Chun later injures the Flying Monkey in a night duel, hitting him with a fireball and rendering him permanently impotent. This arouses the curiosity of Flying Chimpanzee, who comes to avenge his brother and kidnaps Charmy and uses her to bait Wing-Chun and Pok-To to the bandit's mountain fortress and surrounds them. He then challenges Wing-Chun to a fight, on the conditions that she, Pok-To and Charmy will be allowed to leave safely if she can successfully pull out a spear impaled into a wall within three rounds of fighting, but if she fails she will have to become his woman. Wing-Chun manages to win the challenge through tactics, but is unable to really defeat Flying Chimpanzee and gets injured by the latter's formidable "cotton belly" in the process. When Flying Chimpanzee demands a rematch in three days, she seeks help from her master Abbess Ng Mui, a Buddhist nun who created her style of kung fu, but her master only advises her to go and live a normal life.

Pok-To finds out about Wing-Chun's tomboy disguise, and tells her that he doesn't mind that she is not a traditional woman. She agrees to marry him, and accidentally realizes (when Pok-To unintentionally punches the mosquito net to repel the pests) that her "inch strike" is the key to defeat Flying Chimpanzee's "cotton belly". Using this new-found knowledge, Wing-Chun returns to fight Flying Chimpanzee again and soundly defeats the bandit boss in a final showdown, forcing him to submit to her superiority. With the bandit problem gone, Wing-Chun marries Pok-To in a wedding celebrated by the whole village.

Cast[edit]

  • Michelle Yeoh as Yim Wing-Chun (嚴詠春), the titular protagonist
  • Donnie Yen as Leung Pok-To (梁博滔), Wing-Chun's childhood friend and fiancé
  • Kingdom Yuen as Abacus Fong (芳姑), Wing-Chun's sharp-tongued, money-loving paternal aunt
  • Catherine Hung as Charmy (萬艷娘), an attractive widow and newcomer to the village
  • Waise Lee as Wong Hok-Zau (黃學州), a wealthy scholar who wants to court Wing-Chun and Charmy
  • Norman Chu as Flying Chimpanzee (飛天猩猩), leader of the local bandit
  • Chui Ah-Fai as Flying Monkey (飛天猴子), deputy leader of the local bandit and a sex predator
  • Cheng Pei-pei as Abbess Ng Mui (五枚師太), Wing-Chun's martial arts master

Release[edit]

Guang Dong Tung Ah released it on DVD in the United States on 5 February 2002.[1]

On 20 September 2004, the DVD was released by Hong Kong Legends in the UK in Region 2.[2]

One year later, The Epic Action Collection DVD was released on 26 December 2005, a 4-disc set also including Iron Monkey (2-disc platinum edition) and Tai Chi Boxer; all three films were by directed by Yuen Woo-ping.[3] One month later, The Michelle Yeoh Collection DVD was released on 9 January 2006, a 3-disc set also including Magnificent Warriors and Police Assassins.

Reception[edit]

Joey O'Bryan of the Austin Chronicle called it a "fun, period martial arts film, unique in its stylistic approach to both violence and sexual politics".[4] J. Doyle Wallis of DVD Talk rated it 4/5 stars and wrote that what the film lacks in authenticity, it makes up for in "dazzling fight scenes".[1] Beyond Hollywood called it "a silly comedy with kung fu" that "knows what it is".[5] Chris Gould of DVDactive rated it 7/10 stars and wrote that the lack of actual Wing Chun fighting could [be] disappointing to some fans, but the action and comedy make up for it.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wallis, J. Doyle (2002-02-12). "Wing Chun". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  2. ^ a b Gould, Chris. "Chris Gould takes a look at the latest offering from martial arts label Hong Kong Legends..." DVDactive.com. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  3. ^ Gould, Chris. "We have full specs and artwork for the latest HKL DVD release". DVDactive.com. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  4. ^ O'Bryan, Joey (1994-07-01). "Wing Chun". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  5. ^ "Wing Chun (1994) Movie Review". BeyondHollywood.com. 2002-03-28. Retrieved 2014-08-04.

External links[edit]