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Thursday, December 26, 2019

Ip Man 4: The Finale - Movie Review


The Movie: Ip Man 4: The Finale

The Director: Wilson Yip

The Cast: Donnie Yen, Kwok-Kwan Chan, Scott Adkins,

The Story: The Kung Fu master travels to the U.S. where his student has upset the local martial arts community by opening a Wing Chun school.


The Review:
I really wanted to like this movie, I really did. As this series has progressed, there seems to be less and less reference to the man's life and more of a focus on fictionalized drama and combat, I guess for the sake of making these movies as action packed as possible. Now it's to the point where I really don't know if anything in this movie is real and the major driving force behind the movie is all about agendas and politics instead of entertainment or chronicling Ip Man's life. There are, of course, some really good fight scenes and Donnie Yen reminds us why he is so amazing.

Scott Adkins is brought in to play an extremely racist U.S. Marine, Gunnery Sgt. Barton Geddes who even says the first time we see him on screen that everyone is talking about how racist he is. From there, the whole movie portrays most white people as racist bigots which, I have to say, isn't really out of line by any means as a comparative look at how American cinema has and had portrayed Chinese, or just about any other ethnic group, as evil, disgusting villains and especially during the time period this movie is set in.

For Ip Man, there is turmoil all the way around including his own dwindling health, his relationship with his son, his former student Bruce Lee being at odds with the San Francisco martial arts community, his own strained dealings with the same community, and then having to take on racism and oppression head on. Yes, Bruce has a significant role in the movie which adds even more to the fictional nature of the movie and, from what I understand, is sort of a transition for the film making team to focus on making movies about Mr. Lee moving forward.

Ip Man 4 stumbles through completing a life long tale by going completely off the rails and into some really strange territory. That being said, I still enjoyed the movie and am glad to have seen Donnie Yen play the character one last time.


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