Asia's top action actress Michelle Yeoh plays martial-arts legend Yip Wing Chun (the lone female Shaolin Temple student, who created her own style of kung fu) in this farcical action comedy. In their village, Wing Chun an... more »d her Auntie Abacus (King Dan Yuen) make a formidable team. Abacus is a shrewd and sharp-tongued businesswoman while Wing Chun (who developed her martial-arts skills to be less attractive to men) is known as a topnotch fighter. When a beautiful widow named Charmy (Catherine Yan) rolls into town and is taken in by the duo, their tofu business booms with customers fighting to catch a glimpse of her. But Charmy also grabs the attention of loutish bandits, who decide they'll steal her for a wife. More of a gender comedy than an accurate historical film (Yeoh doesn't actually perform the fighting style made famous by her character), Wing Chun is a combination of sitcom-style mistaken identity antics and kung fu action sequences. It lightly turns the gender politics of the traditional patriarchal China on their ear, as the female leads are always a step ahead of the men. Yeoh gives somewhat of a straight and stoic performance in this comedy film, which might have been due to a back injury sustained on the set. But it doesn't hamper her from performing impressive stunts, including bouncing up and down on an inch-wide pole like a diving board. And her costars provide plenty of humor to even out the film. --Shannon Gee« less
"For those of you who still don't know who Michelle Yeoh is, this is THE movie to be introduced to her.For those of you who thrilled at watching Yeoh in such movies as "Tomorrow Never Dies" (with Pierce Brosnan as James Bond), "Supercop" (with Jacky Chan) and "Tai Chi Master" (with Jet Li), this is THE action movie where she is the star rather than a man's sidekick. Having said that, WING CHUN is more than a star vehicle for this former Miss Malaysia turned Action Woman, with an ensemble who have charms of their own even if their names are not as well known; and more than just kung fu fighting.Rather, this is a surprisingly sweet (and innocent) "gender-bending" "period piece" action-comedy out of Hong Kong. Marvel at such as "the fight over tofu" and -- of course -- the climactic showdown between Wing Chun (Yeoh) and "Flying Chimpanzee" but also delight in the camaraderie and charm evident in the scenes featuring Wing Chun, Aunty Abacus and Charmy, the Tofu Princess! A caveat: Even though it has plenty of action, I can't help but wonder whether some men would be unimpressed by this movie (which actually has quantitatively more as well as qualitatively wittier dialogue than most movies of its ilk!). On the other hand, I think that women (even those who don't normally like Hong Kong action movies) will find plenty to LOVE about WING CHUN (the character but also the movie)."
Good movie, great fun, Michelle Yeoh, enough said.
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a nice movie even for casual fans of martial arts movies and more serious fans should definitely grab it. It is a period piece, but i feel that it is rather far from being a costume drama. For some excellent Chinese/HK drama, go check out "Raise the Red Lantern" or even some of John Woo's earlier work like "Last Hurrah For Chivalry" (John Woo with swords!). That said, this is an EXCELLENT action flick, fast and humorous with a plot significantly stronger than most Jackie Chan movies. I love the tofu fight scene and although some of the fight scenes verge on the fantastic (i.e. "The Executioners") and are clearly enhanced with cutscenes and camera trickery, the vast majority is good old single-shot martial arts mastery. Michelle Yeoh rocks hard and is finally allowed to look cute at the end of the film (her looking like a man is a running gag most of the way through) but the actress who plays the young widow is just plain beautiful. As noted above, the subtitles are pretty strange. There are 3 soundtracks on this disc, English, Cantonese and Mandarin and while I usually avoid dubs like the plague the subtitles on this film are so horribly done that I prefer the dubs by far. There were several times that people onscreen were laughing at a joke that was just plain nonexistant in the subtitles...it's like they let Babelfish handle the sub translation. Just stick with the english dub and you'll be in for a funny, better-than-average kung-fu experience."
Half-a-loaf of Wingchun!
Rene Ritchie | Montreal, Canada | 01/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a pure Kung Fu movie, if you enjoy the more comedic, wire-fu style, Yuen Woo-Ping (choreographer of the Matrix) delivers. Both Donnie Yen (a trained film fighter who plays Leung Bok-Cho) and Michelle Yeoh (not a trained fighter but a dancer who's consistently given great action on screen, who plays Yim Wing-Chun) personify their legendary characters with charm, grace, and ferocious martial intent.
If you're looking for a Wing Chun movie that showcases the actual Wing Chun style, however, you're better served by Sammo Hung's Prodigal Sons and Warriors Two. This movie uses the characters and style mostly in name only, with a story drawn, but far removed from, any of the traditional versions, and a style far more high flying and stunt based.
Still, I can think of no fan or exponent who wouldn't thrill just a little to see the beautiful landscapes and settings, and see the characters brought to life, and imagine what it might have been like in the days of legend."
Michelle Yeoh is Unbelievable!
Adam C. Scarbrough | San Luis Obispo, CA USA | 07/30/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yuen Woo Ping does it again! This movie teams up two of the best there is, Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen. Throw in masterful fight choreography and good kung fu humor and you have another great addition to your movie collection. Wing Chun(Yeoh) is both powerful and graceful, not to mention gorgeous! She is a master of kung fu and respected by all, except the bad guys. They never learn. I am always astounded by Yeoh's skill and this movie showcases it beautifully!
Donnie Yen lives up to his reputation as usual. Incredibly fast and always showing his style and flare that nobody seems to match, he is just awesome to watch! He plays Wing Chun's love interest, that is as soon as he figures out which one she is! It is pretty comical how this all comes about. I must say that this movie is one of the funnier kung fu films that I have seen. Being both funny, loaded with great fights, and having a fairly well told story(although nothing too original) you should enjoy this one!
The only flaws in this movie are the lower quality film that was used(not the worst ever though) and the subtitles fly by in most parts of the film. Be ready to speed read! These are the reasons I did not give it five stars. This should not discourage you from seeing this though. With great action from start to finish this is one film not to be missed. Be sure to check it out!"
A great DVD for Michelle Yeoh fans
R. Hedges | Coast Guard Island, CA | 01/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Michelle Yeoh is Yim Wing Chun (Wing Chun), and she has unmatched fighting skills in her village. A well-to-do relative runs a Soya Bean shop, and during a local festival, a woman named Charmy has brought her sick husband to the village for medical aid. Bandits then appear and Wing Chun drives them off after the local male fighters fail miserably, and she also rescues Charmy. Charmy's husband dies and so she tries to sell herself to pay for the cost of the funeral. Wing Chun (with the help of her relative) gives Charmy enough money to bury her husband and in exchange Charmy agrees to become an employee of the Soya Bean shop. Charmy dresses in clothes formally worn by Wing Chun, as Wing Chun used to work for the Soya Bean shop. Sometime later, another skilled warrior, Leung Pok To (Donnie Yen), has come to seek Wing Chun, since they were going to get married. He finds the Soya Bean shop and mistakes Charmy for Wing Chun, because it has been a long time since he has actually seen Wing Chun. In the evening, one of the bandit leaders, Flying Monkey, returns to the village to attack Wing Chun (Charmy), and Leung Pok To saves her, and Charmy is greatful. However, the next day, when Charmy is alone with Leung Pok To attempting to express gratitude, he is feels something is not quite correct. Sometime later, the real Wing Chun goes to meet Flying Monkey outside the village and defeats him easily using a non-traditional method. Flying Monkey's master, Flying Chimpanzee, learns of the defeat, then seeks Wing Chun and challenges her. After a consultation with Wing Chun's master, Wing Chun and Leung Pok To fully reconcile their differences and travel to the bandits' hideout together with the intent to get married after the conflict. After a long battle, Flying Chimpanzee is subdued, and Leung Pok To and Wing Chun get married.
Note-there are several misspellings with the subtitles, and for short periods, the image quality colors fade. Despite these cosmetic flaws, this is a well made "wire fu" movie directed by Yuen Woo Ping in 1994. There is a fighting style called "Wing Chun", but this film has NOTHING to do with that."