Wing Chun (played by Michelle Yeoh) lives in a village with which is often the target of Bandits. After having enough of the Bandit attacks Wing Chun uses her Kung Fu skills to drive off the bandits and saves a woman named Charmy and her sick husband.
After Charmy’s husband dies she tries to sell herself to a man to pay for her husbands funeral costs. Instead Wing Chun and her Aunty Abacus buy her and allow her to live a life she pleases, setting her free. With nowhere to go s0 she helps Wing Chun and her Auntie sell tofu.
After the Bandits are defeated by Wing Chun, they return to their leader who declares he will defeat her. They kidnap Charmy to lure out Wing Chun to fight with a deal – if she loses she has to marry the Bandit leader.
Everyone wants to get married.
During the movie men are helplessly throwing themselves at Charmy while a few want to marry Wing Chun. With the main villain wanting to marry Wing Chun, it becomes are pretty heavy theme in this movie.
Further more there is a character named Leung Pok To (played by Donnie Yen) who arrives in town. Having grown up with Wing Chun, he is her fiancee and has come to marry her. The only problem is that he meets Charmy and believes her to be Wing Chun instead. This drags out for a good chunk of the movie, which is a little overcooked.
I think since the main character was a woman and Wing Chun historically trained (in real life) in order to defeat a man who wanted to marry her – they’ve basically run with that as a big plot point in the movie and created a pretty exaggerated plot out of it. Either way it has a classic 90’s Kung fu film feel to it.
So this movie is ultimately about the woman behind the style made famous by Bruce Lee and later the Ip man movies, but it really revolves more around her character and has little to mention of the style itself.
Even the fight scenes have small amounts of Wing Chun but seems to play a small role for a martial arts film, relying more on names in the movie (Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen).
The biggest refence is when Wing Chun sees her Kung Fu teacher (played by Cheng Pei Pei) before fighting the head bandit – but even her teaching methods is grossly exaggerated.
The Action & Martial Arts
This movie is primarily Wire Fu style fight scenes with people jumping incredible heights and and performing super human feats. A few times in this movie the characters jump away from a fight spinning at a crazy speed.
Despite the wire fu style behind the fights, the fights are fast and relatively exciting, especially the stuff with Donnie Yen. Donnie Yens fight scenes have the least wire work, and more of Donnie just doing his awesome stuff.
Michelle Yeohs performance isn’t too bad either. Her kung fu skills are demonstrated pretty well, with her kicks and punches coming across pretty convincingly but there is the odd scene where you can see a stunt man in her place for a quick shot and it’s not easy to miss.
Would I Recommend It?
The overall quality of the fights is pretty decent and matches the style of Hong Kong movies made at the time – but definitely not for people who don’t like wire fu. A good time killer that’s entertaining but not really a “must see” flick in my opinion.
Find it on DVD
This isn’t exactly an easy to find movie, but I did find a region free DVD of it on Amazon (so you can watch it anywhere in the world)! Find it here – Wing Chun on DVD